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Case Name: October 2018 – Eric Solorio v. Life Fitness
Venue:   
Chicago – Arbitrator Carlson
Handling Attorney:  
Thomas R. Boyd
Case No.: 
17 WC 15340
Date of Accident:  
05/05/2017
Trial Date:  
10/10/2018
Arbitrator Findings: 
$0 Award, no accident or causal connection

 

Dear Clients:

 

We are happy to announce the above recent trial result and our successful defense against a  disputed claim for permanency, temporary total disability, and the nature & extent of an alleged injury. After the injured worker testified and was subjected to cross-examination, we offered video evidence as well as defense testimony of one of Petitioner’s Supervisors with knowledge of the facilities and of Petitioner’s job duties. Ultimately, we secured a decision in which the Arbitrator found no accident, no causal connection, and no medical liability on the part of our client.

 

FACTS:

 

Petitioner testified that he injured his right foot and right ankle after jumping out of the right side of a forklift at the end of his shift on May 5, 2017. Petitioner then felt a “pop” and experienced a severe onset of pain on Saturday May 6, 2017 at his home. He sought medical treatment and claimed at trial that he was still experiencing limitations and pain in the right ankle.

 

LEGAL ANALYSIS/DEFENSES:

 

Petitioner took the stand on the date of trial and discussed the alleged work accident of May 5, 2017 at length, describing his job duties and the events of that day to the best of his memory.

 

Petitioner testified that he had sought treatment with numerous providers, and had even tried home remedies for his pain. Petitioner testified on direct examination that he had not been able to work since the alleged accident.

 

On cross-examination, Petitioner was exposed as not only a poor historian, but also in several misrepresentations. Petitioner eventually conceded that he had obtained employment at several companies in the months and years following his employment, most recently working full time in a warehouse as a picker, earning higher wages than while working for Respondent before the alleged May 5, 2017 accident. On cross-examination, Petitioner clarified that he felt little to no pain on the accident date, and that he didn’t think it was significant. He punched out for the day and walked to his car in the parking lot.

 

A defense witness provided detailed testimony on the protocol for reporting a work accident, regardless of severity, and explained that no accident was reported to the company on the alleged date of injury. Further, this defense witness reviewed security video from the company premises showing claimant parking his forklift at the end of his shift and walking out of the lobby of the company building in normal, fluid fashion.

 

FUTURE CLAIM/LITIGATION RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

 

Work in collaboration with the insured to collect as much objective, credible evidence as possible.

 

Here, the employer was instrumental in our firm securing a $0 decision from the Arbitrator. The employer and insurance company worked in tandem to provide defense counsel with extensive documentation and video footage regarding specific events of the hours and days immediately after the alleged accident, which helped expose this Petitioner’s testimony as being unreliable.

 

Eyewitnesses and other personnel with firsthand knowledge of the events surrounding that accident can be dispositive regarding the issue of accident. The statements and sworn testimony of these individuals can truly be the difference between winning and losing a case.

 

If you should have any additional questions or comments concerning this decision, please feel free to contact the undersigned or Mr. Thomas R. Boyd.