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Tag Archives: Causation

Antitrust – Chiropractic Network – Relevant Market — Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction (access required)

Sykes v. Health Network Solutions, Inc. The court determines that it has subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiff-chiropractors’ claims that defendants have monopoly and monopsony power over the chiropractic market in North Carolina; however, further development of the record is needed to determine whether plaintiffs’ claims fall within the scope of the various sections of G.S. Chapter 75.

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Workers’ Compensation – Disability – Duration — Insufficient Proof – Thigh Laceration – Back & Knee Pain – Causation (access required)

Smith v. Baxter International, Inc. Plaintiff’s medical evidence did not prove that she was disabled after Jan. 31, 2008; on that date, plaintiff told her plastic surgeon that her pain level was “zero on a zero to 10 pain scale,” and the doctor released her with no permanent work restrictions. Furthermore, plaintiff’s rehabilitation counselor’s opinion that she could not work was based on a psychologist’s conclusion that plaintiff’s depression (exacerbated by her work injury) impaired her ability to return to work and maintain employment; however, the psychologist was unaware that plaintiff helped her husband with customers at a public trade lot one day a week, babysat her toddler-age grandchildren one day a week, and had gone on several family camping trips after her injury.

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Workers’ Compensation – Causation – Ankle Injury – Back Pain – Income Statement – Fraud (access required)

Greenfield v. City of Greensboro Even though plaintiff contends that he reported back pain to Dr. Ryan Draper within days after his April 28, 2009 compensable ankle injury, plaintiff’s medical records show – and the Industrial Commission finds – that plaintiff first reported back pain on Nov. 30, 2009. Plaintiff’s original description of the April 28 injury (that he was exiting the front passenger side of a work truck when he stepped onto uneven ground and twisted his right ankle and heel) is more credible than his more recent description (that he stepped into a large hole, fell and twisted to grab onto the truck and also injured his back).

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Workers’ Compensation – Causation – Preexisting Condition – Aggravation – Twisted Ankle – Medical Testimony (access required)

Briggs v. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Dr. Singh testified that, if plaintiff injured his ankle on May 2, 2007 and if the pain from that injury worsened from that date onward, then he believed the May 2, 2007 incident aggravated plaintiff’s preexisting osteochondral defect. Dr. Singh’s testimony was not speculative but contingent. Where the Industrial Commission made unchallenged findings both that plaintiff sustained the May 2, 2007 ankle injury and that plaintiff’s ankle pain “progressively became worse” thereafter, these findings and Dr. Singh’s testimony support the Commission’s conclusion that plaintiff suffered a compensable aggravation of a preexisting condition.

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Workers’ Compensation – Causation – Neck & Shoulder Injury – Medical Evidence (access required)

Smith v. Wake County Government Even though plaintiff presented evidence that his neck and shoulder problems arose from a July 9, 2009 on-the-job incident in which he tried to keep an intruder from escaping, the Industrial Commission could find that this incident did not cause plaintiff’s injuries based on the testimony of plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Singh.

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Workers’ Compensation Causation – Credibility – Neck Pain – Medical Testimony (access required)

Clark v. Pepsi Bottling Ventures Plaintiff told his supervisor he was not injured on the job, and where plaintiff was not consistent about the date of the onset of his neck pain. There is competent evidence to support the Industrial Commission’s finding that plaintiff’s assertion that he sustained an on-the-job injury is not credible.

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Workers’ Compensation – Causation – Pre-Existing Condition – Aggravation – Medical Expenses (access required)

Wells v. Coastal Cardiology Associates Plaintiff’s doctors both testified that her pre-existing condition was exacerbated by her fall at work, necessitating surgery, and both doctors said they could not apportion plaintiff’s current condition between her pre-existing condition and the fall. This evidence supports the Industrial Commission’s order that defendants pay for plaintiff’s surgery. We affirm the Commission’s award of medical expenses.

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Workers’ Compensation – Death Benefits – Timely Claim – Determination of Disability – Causation – Prescription Methadone – Liver Toxicity (access required)

Shaw v. US Airways, Inc. Where defendants paid temporary total disability to plaintiff’s decedent pursuant to an Industrial Commission Form 60 and subsequent Forms 62, this raised a presumption of disability but did not constitute a final determination of disability. Nothing in the record indicates that the decedent was paid anything other than temporary total disability benefits pursuant to Forms 60 and 62.

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