A deli worker injured while opening a deli case door has received temporary total disability, payment of medical bills and spinal fusion surgery in arbitration. Jill Wagner of Ankin Law Office LLC, represented Donna Rudcki, an employee of Potash Brothers Supermarket, who injured her spine and shoulder while trying to open a broken deli case door.
(Read the complete arbitrator decision here)
The arbitrator ordered Potash Brothers Supermarket to pay Rudcki’s reasonable and necessary medical services of $57,950.85. Potash Brothers will also pay Rucki temporary total disability benefits of $220/week for 176 3/7 weeks. In addition, Rudcki will be able to have the recommended spinal fusion surgery to reduce her pain.
Summary of Events
The Petitioner, Donna Rudcki, is a 59-year-old woman who works for the Respondent, Potash Brothers Supermarket, Inc., as a deli clerk. She testified that in that position she worked behind the deli counter slicing meats, serving food out of the hot and cold cases for customers, and general customer service needs. She testified that on the day of the injury she was opening a deli food case door when she hurt her neck and left shoulder. More specifically, while she was working at the deli counter, a customer requested food out of the hot food case. She testified that this particular case had sliding glass doors that opened left to right. On this date, one of the doors was damaged and it had duct tape adhesive and WD-40 sprayed in the tracks causing it to be difficult to open. She was grabbing and pulling the door trying to pull it open when she felt a pop and pain in her left shoulder shooting up to her neck. Since it was the Friday after Thanksgiving, no supervisors were working on that day. She went home shortly after the incident and reported the injury to Peter, the deli manager, and Dave, a store manager, by the following Monday. Rudcki was later called back into the store to discuss the accident with Jeff, the store manager. She and Jeff sat down and discussed exactly what happened and filled out an injury report.
The Petitioner testified that she knows her injury was the result of trying to open the hot food case. As of the date of trial, she still had pain in her neck going down the left arm with numbness in her fingers. She testified that her whole life has changed since this injury and she can no longer perform daily chores such as cleaning, laundry, or grocery shopping without pain. She testified that if the Arbitrator awarded the recommended surgery, she would get the treatment right away.