Brown v. TBC Corp. (Lawyers Weekly No. 13-08-0351, 14 pp.) (Linda Cheatham, Commissioner) Appealed from Opinion & Award of Deputy Commissioner Philip A. Baddour III. I.C. No. X14730.
Holding: Plaintiff contends that his ankle injury was the direct and natural result of his compensable back injury. His varying accounts of his ankle injury render his testimony about the incident incredible.
Plaintiff is not entitled to benefits for his ankle injury.
After he injured his ankle, plaintiff first told health care providers that he was “walking down steps today and twisted [his] left ankle.” A few days later, he told different providers that his “back went out and he fell down a flight of stairs.” A few more days later, plaintiff told another provider that the injury “occurred when he fell onto the heel in house shoes while sort of slipping on the stairs.” Months later, plaintiff told a provider that he “fell going down some steps when his back and leg flared up on him and his leg gave way.”
At the hearing before the deputy commissioner, plaintiff testified, “I had a – my back went out. I was walking down the stairs. My leg – well, I had sharp pains in my back. My leg went out. I flipped over and fell down a flight of stairs and I thought I sprained my leg at the time.”
Plaintiff’s testimony is not credible. Furthermore, even if plaintiff’s leg gave way, his expert medical testimony fails to establish beyond speculation that the leg giving way was causally related to his compensable back injury.