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Nurse Awarded Permanency and Medical Rights After Slip and Fall

October 13, 2017

A 51-year-old woman working as a registered nurse for Kelly Services at the Ford Motor Plant suffered a medial meniscus tear and osteoarthritis when she slipped and fell as she stepped in water dripping on the floor. Her attorney, Jill Wagner, of Ankin Law Offices secured medical rights and permanency in an arbitration ruling.

On the day of the accident, the nurse was completing her rounds when she slipped and fell on water while walking into a patient’s room. She testified that the water had been leaking onto the floor all day. She slipped and fell and bruised herself. She testified that, in the process, she twisted her left knee and felt a pop in the knee. She then had to walk down a long hallway at which time she began to experience pain in the left knee. She then reported the injury to a doctor who told her to fill out a report. The injured nurse testified that when she subsequently went to her doctor, she noticed that the knee pain would not stop. She testified that she then received a phone call from a supervisor who said that she must see the company’s doctor.

(Click here to read the complete arbitrator decision)

Arbitration Hearing Summary:

The arbitrator ruled the nurse was entitled to Permanent Partial Disability and past and future medical expenses for injuries sustained in the incident.

Defining Permanent Partial Disability

The following criteria are to be used in the determination of permanent partial disability:

(a) A physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches preparing a permanent partial disability impairment report shall report the level of impairment in writing. The report shall include an evaluation of medically defined and professionally appropriate measurements of impairment that include, but are not limited to: loss of range of motion; loss of strength; measured atrophy of tissue mass consistent with the injury; and any other measurements that establish the nature and extent of the impairment. The most current edition of the American Medical Association’s “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment” shall be used by the physician in determining the level of impairment.

(b) In determining the level of permanent partial disability, the Commission shall base its determination on the following factors: (i) the reported level of impairment pursuant to subsection (a); (ii) the occupation of the injured employee; (iii) the age of the employee at the time of the injury; (iv) the employee’s future earning capacity; and (v) evidence of disability corroborated by the treating medical records. No single enumerated factor shall be the sole determinant of disability. In determining the level of disability, the relevance and weight of any factors used in addition to the level of impairment as reported by the physician must be explained in a written order.