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Case Name:   Ramona Badon v. La Quinta Inn & Suites
Venue:  Chicago – Arbitrator Carolyn Doherty
Handling Attorney:     Brian P. Wojcicki
Case No.:    11 WC 33600
Date of Accident:     08/08/11
Benefits Awarded:  $0

 

Dear Clients:

Knell & O’Connor is pleased to announce another victory, with the complete denial of Petitioner’s claim.

CASE SUMMARY BACKGROUND:

Petitioner worked as a housekeeper for Respondent, and alleged that she slipped and fell while cleaning a bathroom.  Petitioner’s initial injuries were her right knee and hip; however, by the time the case reached trial, Petitioner also claimed injuries to her left knee and lower back, with possible treatment to include lower back injections and bilateral knee surgery.

Petitioner’s claim was disputed based on questionable reporting, and investigations that revealed inconsistent accident dates, as well as an independent medical examination indicating her conditions were related to pre-existing conditions.

On March 9, 2012, Petitioner’s claim was presented to the Arbitrator on disputed issues of accident, causation, temporary total disability benefits, and medical treatment.

TRIAL STRATEGY:

At trial and through Respondent’s proposed arbitration decision, our focus was to highlight the near impossibility of Petitioner accident claim under any theory.  Between Petitioner’s testimony, medical records, and the testimony of Respondent’s general manager, the arbitrator agreed.

On March 23, 2012, proposed decisions were filed with the Arbitrator, and on April 24, 2012, the Arbitrator filed the Arbitration Decision, denying Petitioner’s claim of accident.

The Arbitrator stated that [t]he fluid accident dates and the discrepancies in Petitioner’s abilities after the alleged      accident in combination with Petitioner’s lack of credibility at trial and the more credible trial testimony of [Respondent's general manager] prevent a finding of accident by the Arbitrator in this matter.’

With a denial of accident, all others issues presented by Petitioner are moot.

SIGNIFICANCE:

By efficiently proceeding to trial in order to defeat the accident claim on its face, Respondent avoided significant liability from accruing.

It is still not enough at trial to simply point out that Petitioner did not properly report an accident; however, any lack of notice may be used to emphasize other inconsistencies that are evident in the medical records and personnel timesheets.

In this case, we showed that Petitioner’s alleged accident went unknown for weeks by supervisors and co-workers.  In addition, the medical records showed that Petitioner’s accident date was either after she was no longer employed with Respondent, or entirely inconsistent with working two full days after allegedly being unable to get out of bed due to her injuries.

By keeping Petitioner’s inconsistencies organized and rebutting possible accident theories, Respondent was able to entirely foreclose Petitioner’s claim at trial.

Lastly, we are hopeful that this victory represents a new trend in which the new Arbitrators are taking their new jobs seriously and are being objective in reaching their Decisions.  As always, if you have any further questions about this result, please contact Mr. Brian Wojcicki.

Very truly yours,

KNELL & O’CONNOR

Bradley C. Knell