A Central Grocers delivery truck driver, represented by Scott Goldstein of Ankin Law, was awarded prospective medical care and temporary total disability (TTD) benefits after he injured his lower back in the course of his delivery duties. The injury occurred as he was unloading 600-700 boxes by hand from his truck.
On the day of the injury, he was given ice, and a back brace and sent to work full duty. When the pain persisted he has prescribed a course of physical therapy with only minimal relief from his pain symptoms. As the pain continued he underwent a course of two pain injections in his back with only minimal symptomatic relief. His doctor recommended surgery at L4-5 and L5-S1 via laminectomy, discectomy, and Coflex(R) due to the driver’s continued pain in his back, radiculopathy, and the lack of significant relief he experienced from other treatment measures including the physical therapy and pain injections. During this time he continued to be off of work.
As a result of the arbitration, the driver has been awarded prospective medical care as recommended by his doctor including the L4-5, L5-S1 laminectomy and discectomy, and CofleX(R) Surgery, as well as all associated usual pre and postoperative care incidental thereto. He has also been awarded temporary total disability (TTD) benefits of $1,068.00/week for 19-1/7th weeks.
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Table of Contents
Arbitrator Decision Summary:
Conclusions of Law: Based on the foregoing and on the record as a whole, the Arbitrator finds that, under a chain of events theory, Petitioner’s current condition of ill-being as it relates to his low back was rendered symptomatic by and is causally related to the July 21, 2016 work injury. The Arbitrator incorporates the foregoing findings of fact and conclusions of law as though fully set forth herein. The medical services provided to the Petitioner have been both reasonable and necessary. The Petitioner has had standard conservative treatment measures for his back injury including doctor’s visits, diagnostic testing, physical therapy, injections, and prescription medications. The Arbitrator finds the Petitioner’s treatment to date to be reasonable and necessary and awards the Petitioner $169.76 for Dr. Mark Chang’s Outstanding medical bill.ISSUE (K), (O) PROSPECTIVE MEDICAL CARE
The Arbitrator incorporates the foregoing findings of fact and conclusions of law as though fully set forth herein. Petitioner is awarded prospective medical care as recommended by Dr. Mark Chang including the L4-5, L5-S1 laminectomy and discectomy and CofleX(R) Surgery, including all associated usual pre and postoperative care incidental thereto. This award is based upon Petitioner’s related condition having failed conservative measures as noted by Dr. Chang and based on Petitioner’s condition of ill-being not yet reaching maximum medical improvement.ISSUE (L), (O) WHAT TEMPORARY BENEFITS ARE IN DISPUTE?
The Arbitrator incorporates the foregoing findings of fact and conclusions of law as though fully set forth herein. Petitioner is awarded temporary total disability (TTD) benefits from July 22, 2016, to September 14, 2016, and September 29, 2016, to December 16, 2016, a period of 19-1/7″ weeks. These dates reflect when Petitioner was prescribed off work for these dates by Dr. Mathew and Dr. Chang. Px1-2. Petitioner returned to work for a period of about two weeks in September 2016 but Dr. Chang took him back off work on September 29, 2016, after the Petitioner attempted a good faith period of returning to work.