Matthews Obtains Case Win


Doug Matthews was again successful in obtaining a decision from Administrative Law Judge Larry Price denying benefits for a back injury to a claimant who originally sought and was denied disability benefits resulting from knee surgery. The claimant, at different times, sought benefits for two separate injuries related to the same accident. The claimant was involved in an accident on his employer’s dock where he claimed to have been thrown six to eight feet by water escaping from a ruptured pump seal. A year ago, Judge Price denied the employee’s claim for a knee disability based upon a showing made by Doug Matthews of the employee’s significant misstatements to his treating physicians of prior medical history including the omission of prior chronic pain and swelling of his right knee. 

The claimant was undeterred by the denial of his disability claim related to his knee and subsequently proceeded to assert a claim for medical treatment and disability benefits related to significant back symptoms, including intractable pain, that he alleged resulted from the same accident. Doug Matthews was able to show that the claimant had a long history of prior back complaints, as well as he had right knee complaints, which he also failed to disclose to his treating physicians. Furthermore, discovery revealed that the claimant sought treatment a month before his workplace accident for back pain and spasm caused by an automobile accident. Although the medical experts had originally opined that the claimant’s back disability was related to his workplace accident, when the prior history of chronic back pain and spasm and the complaints emanating from the automobile accident a month before the workplace incident were disclosed to them, the experts’ opinions no longer supported the claimant’s claim. Based upon this evidence, Judge Price again denied the claimant’s claim.

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