Case Study

Prior Treatment Leads to Commission Reversal

Facts

Petitioner was a medical intake coordinator alleging carpal tunnel related to specific activities of writing and typing on a single date of work versus putting forth a repetitive trauma claim.  Petitioner’s duties were otherwise varied and mainly consisted of light typing and answering phones. Petitioner began treating at Respondent’s choice of provider who suspected carpal tunnel and referred Petitioner to a hand specialist, who confirmed the diagnoses and related her condition to her work, assuming she performed repetitive clerical activities and not considering a single day of specific duties.  Respondent’s IME doctor diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome; however, did not relate it to Petitioner’s work for Respondent.  Petitioner denied having prior treatment; however, she was impeached at trial.

Issues

Causal connection, medical bills, prospective medical care, penalties and attorney’s fees

Outcome

The Arbitrator awarded medical benefits, prospective care and related Petitioner’s condition of ill being; however, the Arbitrator did not award penalties and fees, due to credibility questions. Respondent appealed.  The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission reversed the Arbitrator’s decision holding Petitioner had prior treatment for her condition, Petitioner’s condition was not caused or aggravated by a single day’s work duties and her treating physician made diagnoses without knowledge of the pre-existing treatment.  All benefits were denied, saving our client thousands in medical bills, permanency and prospective medical treatment.

Kimberly Taylor v. PCC Community Wellness Center, 11 WC 24491, 12 IWCC 903