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Gutter Installer Falls Off Ladder and Needs Surgery

October 5, 2021

When a 60-year-old gutter guard installer fell from a ladder at work and fractured his heel doctors treated him for his injuries. Over the next few months he was given crutches, a cast and a CAM boot. As his right foot was slowly healing he reported pain in his right knee as well. His employer was reluctant to admit that his knee pain was related to his fall at work. That’s when Josh Rudolfi and his team at Ankin Law stepped in. At the arbitration hearing the client was given 54 weeks of temporary total disability and payments for the remainder of his lost time. He also received the costs of medical services including the knee surgery necessary to get his life back to normal. 

Below is a passage from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission-Arbitration Decision:

The 60-year-old gutter installer (hereinafter referred to as “Petitioner”) worked for Leaf Guard Chicago,  LLC (hereinafter referred to as “Respondent”) as an installer. Petitioner’s job duties included installing gutter systems on homes. Petitioner worked for Respondent for approximately six weeks prior to falling off a ladder on August 8, 2020. Petitioner testified, on August 8, 2020, he was on a ladder installing a gutter when he fell to the ground. Petitioner testified he was coming down the ladder when the ladder titled causing him to lose his balance. Petitioner testified he fell about 4 feet. Petitioner testified he attempted to “roll” when he landed primarily on his right leg. Petitioner testified he experienced immediate pain in his right leg and right ankle. Petitioner reported the incident to his employer who sent him to an urgent care facility.

Petitioner testified he went to the urgent care facility recommended by Respondent but there was a two hour wait. Petitioner decided to go to MedExpress. While at MedExpress Petitioner reported right ankle/foot pain. The examination noted bruising and swelling. An x-ray was taken of the right foot which showed a closed calcaneal fracture. Petitioner was provided with crutches and instructed to remain non-weight-bearing until cleared by an orthopedic physician.

On August 10, 2020 Petitioner presented to Dr. R, an orthopedic physician with DuPage Medical Group. Dr. R noted an edema in the right hind foot consistent with the fracture. Petitioner was diagnosed with a fracture of the mid-body of the calcaneus. Petitioner was taken off work and advised to remain non-weight-bearing for an additional 4 weeks.

On August 17, 2020, Petitioner followed up with Dr. R who noted tenderness over the calcaneus. Petitioner was placed in a short-leg, non-weight-bearing cast. Dr. R continued Petitioner off work and opined Petitioner would require an additional six weeks of non-weight-bearing. 

Petitioner returned to Dr. R on September 9, 2020. At that visit, Petitioner was transitioned to a CAM boot walker and advised to continue non-weight bearing for an additional two weeks.

On October 7, 2020, Petitioner followed up with Dr. R who kept Petitioner off work, recommended toe-touch weight-bearing with use of the CAM boot and start transitioning to full weight-bearing.

On November 4, 2020 Petitioner returned to Dr. R reporting he could perform light walking but that he was having pain over the medial aspect of the right knee. Dr. R noted no previous knee issues. Dr. R opined Petitioner’s right medial knee pain could represent some irritation from a contusion sustained in the accident, or a possible meniscus tear. Petitioner was kept off work and instructed to begin weaning out of the CAM boot.

On November 25, 2020 Petitioner called Dr. R reporting continued right knee pain……

Read the full arbitrator Decision here.