A woman was employed as an LPN home healthcare worker for approximately 7 years. Depending on her shift she could work anywhere from 50 to70 hours a week. She provides home based care for a young disabled man. Her work involves heavy lifting, turning, bathing, and ambulating – total patient care.
In October of 2012, she was attending to the patient. She grabbed a pad underneath him to change and was pulling the patient up in bed when she felt right sided abdominal pain and burning.
She continued to work but the pain wouldn’t go away. Ultimately she went to the panel physicians at Work Well and was put on light duty. Because her symptoms weren’t improving she sought an opinion from a surgeon and had CT scans showing and abdominal wall hernia. She underwent surgery in November 2012. She subsequently got an infection and was admitted in March of 2013. In April of 2013 she was released to return to work but she continued treating and continued with abdominal pain. She had been paid total disability workers’ compensation up to returning to work. She again went on and off of work for 2 subsequent procedures. She subsequently had surgery in 2013. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier refused to pay for the surgery in 2013. She also developed complications which the workmens compensation insurance carrier denied as being work related. Dugan & Associates was able to get her reinstated on weekly wage loss checks.
The work comp carrier then sent her for an IME (a medical exam with a doctor of their choosing) who felt she could work light duty no lifting greater than 20lbs. The comp carrier then had her undergo a vocational assessment for a Labor Market Survey/Earning Power Assessment. They also had an Impairment Rating Evaluation Performed. With those results the comp carrier filed a petition to suspend wage loss benefits.
Dugan & Associates, Lawyers Representing Injured People was able to negotiate a settlement of her work injury with payment of all outstanding medical bills, payment of wage loss benefits up to the date of the settlement and an additional $180,000.