Case Study

Cafeteria Worker Denied Benefits for Later Manifested Knee Condition

Facts

Petitioner sustained a fractured right fibula in slip and fall May 20, 2005, treated for eight weeks with non weight bearing, followed by therapy, and received full duty   release July 25, 2005. Claimed right knee aggravated by work incident. Petitioner received chiropractic care for next two years for both knees and other conditions. She then sought a surgeon for continued right knee pain and underwent arthoscopic repair of torn cartilage in 2007.  Petitioner’s treating physician related the right knee treatment in 2007 to the work injury, which occurred in May of 2005.  Our Independent Medical Examiner found the condition was unrelated to the prior work injury.

Issues

Temporary total disability, medical bills and increased permanency to right leg for right knee condition and associated care.

Outcome

Arbitrator found right knee related, awarded 8 weeks temporary total disability, $26,000.00 in medical bills, 20% loss of use of the right leg. On review, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission reversed, finding right knee was not related, no entitlement to temporary total disability or medical bills, permanency limited to 10% of the right leg for the fibula fracture.

Paulette Heinzman v. Eurest Dining/07W C 37004/12 lWCC 438