Successful defense of claim petition over alleged spine injury.
We successfully defended a claim petition for an alleged spine injury on behalf of a construction company. The claimant was employed as a construction worker, and a week after being hired, he was allegedly injured while using a jackhammer. He filed a claim petition for multilevel disc injuries in the lumbar spine. Ashley presented the medical testimony of an orthopedic expert who explained how the injury was soft tissue in nature, and had resolved as of an independent medical examination. While there were significant, multilevel disc bulges and herniations, the judge agreed these findings to be degenerative rather than acute. This conclusion was further supported by an ongoing factual investigation, which uncovered 17 prior low back injuries, the majority of which were denied by the claimant. Ultimately, the judge accepted the defense’s evidence over that of the claimant and granted the full relief requested by the employer.