Franklin & Prokopik’s April Kerns recently defended against a claimant’s appeal in the Prince George’s County Circuit Court. The claimant appealed a decision of the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission which found he had not sustained any increase in his permanent partial disability since a prior award.
After a 2003 accident, the claimant had undergone spinal surgery and implantation of a spinal cord stimulator for which he was awarded 65% permanent partial disability in 2010. The claimant went on to receive injections, radiofrequency ablations, and medication management following the 2010 award. This complex claim also involved questions of opioid abuse, illicit drug use, and international travel.
During the two-day jury trial, the claimant introduced expert testimony which suggested his permanent partial disability had increased. The claimant himself testified, over objection, that he was now permanently totally disabled, although there was no medical opinion provided to support this contention. Relying upon testimony from the employer and insurer’s medical expert, the jury agreed the claimant was not only not permanently and totally disabled, but also that his permanent disability had not at all worsened since the Commission’s prior permanency award.
For more information about this article, please contact Melissa A. McGaunn at 410.230.3062 or firstname.lastname@example.org.