Successful defense of large Philadelphia-based law firm in litigation of claim petition alleging post-concussion syndrome.
The claimant slipped and fell at work, injuring his head and neck. The carrier accepted a contusion injury. The claimant alleged multiple additional injuries including cognitive maladies, memory loss, speech problems, vision convergence, photophobia, cranial nerve injuries and balance issues. The claimant testified while wearing sunglasses due to his alleged photophobia condition. Thirteen hours of surveillance video disputed the claimant’s alleged symptoms (including his need for sunglasses). Prior health records revealed the claimant to be treating for all of his alleged cognitive problems before the work incident ever took place. The claimant’s first treating neurologist records supported the claimant’s symptoms to be non-anatomical. The carrier’s IME physician found the claimant to have suffered non-disabling contusion injuries which resolved. The judge found in favor of the employer and carrier, ruling that the claimant’s injuries were limited to contusions and had fully resolved. The claimant appealed the case to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, arguing the judge capriciously disregarded the evidence. The Board held that the claimant’s appeal was a veiled collateral attack on the workers’ compensation judge’s credibility determinations and affirmed the judge. At issue were potential life-time indemnity benefit payments and over $1 million of medical expenses.