Judge doesn’t buy that chemical exposure was major contributing cause for claimant’s complaints.
We won a total controvert on a workers’ compensation exposure claim and successfully defended a denial. The claimant alleged exposure to a toxic airplane paint thinner at a plant in Kentucky in December of 2019. He was a subcontractor of the airplane manufacturer, but a Florida employee. The claimant complained of breathing issues and skin rashes. He sought treatment at an emergency room in Kentucky on the date of alleged exposure ,and again approximately 10 months later for skin rashes. However, the claimant was able to continue working without any wage loss the entire time. The employer/carrier denied and defended on the basis that the claimant could not prove causation by clear and convincing evidence pursuant to F.S. 440.02. The claimant obtained an IME, which opined that his breathing issues could be attributable to the alleged exposure, but that the rashes most likely were not. The claimant’s IME physician opined that the claimant needed to undergo additional testing to determine causation. The employer/carrier’s IME opined that the major contributing cause of the claimant’s rashes and breathing issues was not the alleged exposure. The Judge of Compensation Claims accepted the employer/carrier’s IME and held that the claimant failed to prove that a workplace chemical exposure was the major contributing cause of his complaints.