In a highly contested case, Ankin Law attorney Scott Goldstein secured disability payments, knee surgery, and payment of medical bills for a truck driver who injured his knee at work. The award includes payment of outstanding medical bills of $1,310.20; Temporary Total Disability payments of $991.33/week for 55 2/7 weeks; and right knee arthroscopic surgery, and PRP injection, along with all other related post operative care, as prescribed by the treating orthopedic surgeon.
Goldstein’s client was driving a roll-off truck for a garbage and sanitation collection company. As part of his job he picked up trash compactors and dumpsters and transported them to waste disposal facilities. The client testified that on the day of the accident he was assigned to perform a “dump and return” at one of Respondent’s customer locations in Elgin, Illinois. As he was cleaning residual garbage that was on the ground next to a loaded dumpster, his right foot got caught in a guide rail behind his truck. His right foot stayed straight when it was caught in the guide rail and his right knee turned to the left, twisting and injuring his knee. He felt pain in his right knee at that time but kept working and completed his work shift as he initially thought this was just more bumps and bruises common at his job. He told his supervisor about the accident but did not realize the seriousness of the injury until the pain persisted for a few weeks.
[View the Full Arbitrator Decision here]
After multiple visits to doctors he learned that he would need knee surgery to repair a horizontal tearing of the posterior horn and body segment of the medial meniscus. The doctor recommended a right knee arthroscopy with a partial medial meniscectomy or medial meniscus repair, along with a PRP injection to help with an injured hamstring.
The case went to arbitration after the company chose to contest on all issues, including the accident itself. The trial took all day as the company presented video, client social media posts, multiple defense witnesses, and an IME doctor whose testimony was all but dismissed by the arbitrator. Most significantly, Goldstein was able to show that the company’s key piece of evidence, a surveillance video was entirely unreliable as it stopped, started and skipped key moments in time.
Below is an excerpt from the Arbitrator Decision discussing the surveillance video:
Respondent produced surveillance video (Rx11) which does not show Petitioner injuring himself. However, the Arbitrator notes the video clips are from a significant distance, so it is difficult to see many details. The video is darker at portions and lighter at portions, so the visibility and quality of the picture is not very clear. Most importantly, despite testimony from Respondent’s witness that the video was not edited, the video clips nonetheless cut in and out and frequently skips. It shows petitioner moving in one area of the camera view and then cutting out and appearing somewhere else. The filming is not continuous. This is likely due to it being motion sensor. Most significantly, at the portion of the video clip right when Petitioner was testifying and attempting to describe the when and where he was injured, the video skips ahead/restarts. (TR. at 142).
Based on the above, the Arbitrator affords little weight to Respondent’s video