Successful prosecution of termination petition on behalf of hospital.
We successfully prosecuted a termination petition on behalf of a well-known hospital and defended the claimant’s petition for review to expand the nature of the accepted injury. The injury was accepted as a right distal bicep strain, which included a partial tear that resulted in surgery. The claimant asserted the injury should be expanded to also include right carpal tunnel, right elbow sprain and trigger fingers. A detailed cross-examination of the claimant established the complaints referable to right carpal and trigger fingers began six months after the injury, which was corroborated by the claimant’s treating physician’s records. The IME expert, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with specialized training in hand surgery, had the opportunity to perform a comprehensive physical examination and review the diagnostic studies, post- and pre-injury medical records, and the claimant’s family physician’s records. This review revealed non-work-related carpal tunnel risk factor conditions, including obesity, post-menopausal, non-insulin dependent diabetes and testing for hypothyroidism. It was further argued that the claimant’s medical expert did not have expertise in the surgery involved in the case and failed to review the claimant’s testimony and diagnostic films. Ultimately, the judge found the defense medical expert competent, credible and persuasive.