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Recent Take Nothing Award

The Applicant, a 44-year-old male, was working as a baker at a large grocery chain on the date of the alleged injury. The Applicant claimed to have suffered a cumulative trauma injury to his eye, back, psyche, respiratory system, sleep disorder, & skin in the course & scope of employment with the grocery chain (December 30, 2011 – November 14, 2012). This claim was timely denied based on a lack of medical evidence to support a claim of injury and a lack of timely reporting to the employer.

The Applicant’s only evidence in support of the injury AOE/COE was the medical reporting of his primary physician, Chiropractor Caligiuri. Caligiuri’s reliance on the Applicant’s inadequate & inaccurate medical history, as well as his failure to review the Applicant’s prior medical history represented two big flaws in his evaluation of the Applicant. The Applicant had failed to disclose to Chiropractor Caligiuri his prior industrial back injury & his prior motor vehicle accidents. Three separate & independent Panel Qualified Medical Examiners (PQMEs) conducted exhaustive reviews of the Applicant’s prior medical history & found the Applicant’s alleged injuries non-industrial in nature & unrelated to his employment at the grocery chain, based on several, irrefutable factors.

At trial, the Applicant outright misstated that he did not have a prior back injury. He stated that his previous workers’ compensation claim with another firm was for an injury to his right shoulder, despite medical & legal evidence disproving his statements. None of this information was mentioned to any of the PQMEs that met previously with the Applicant. The Applicant admitted he did not tell anyone that he worked with that his injuries were work related.

Further, it is found that Chiropractor Caligiuri’s reports were inadmissible for failure to rise to the level of substantial medical evidence. Due to absent medical evidence to support his claim of industrial injury, the applicant is incapable of meeting the burden of proving the injury AOE/ COE.

The Applicant was found to be less than credible. His testimony at times was inconsistent with the information contained in the medical record & his deposition testimony. He denied knowing any of his injuries were work related before he stopped working.

As injury was found to be not industrially related, the Applicant is not entitled to compensation on the basis of temporary disability, permanent disability, apportionment, need for further medical care, or coverage of attorney’s fees.

The Applicant was ordered by the ALJ to take nothing on his claim.

Recent Take Nothing Award

This matter involved a denied Specific Injury claim by the Applicant. The Defendant’s denial was based on the initial aggressor defense under LC 3600.

The Applicant claimed that he was involved in an altercation with his supervisor. It was stated by the Applicant that his supervisor was the initial aggressor, while the supervisor claimed that the Applicant was the initial aggressor. The Applicant sustained a laceration to his left eyebrow as a result of the altercation. When the Applicant retained counsel, he reported that he had pleaded a skin and contents claim.

Immediately after the incident, the Applicant went to the emergency room and got stitches. The only complaint he mentioned on the date of the injury was in regards to his eyebrow. One week later, he went back to get the stitches removed &, still, the only complaint that he had was in regards to his eyebrow.

Two days of trial on the matter, with out-of-state witnesses and the employer’s testimony regarding the fight, the Judge found that the Applicant was not the initial aggressor but threw out all of the body parts pleaded with exception to the left eyebrow. The matter then went forward, a year later, to the third day of trial with regards to permanent disability, temporary disability, and need for future medical care. The Judge issued a “findings of fact” and determined that the Applicant would “take nothing,” as the laceration to the left eyebrow is not ratable and thus, there is no temporary disability or need for future medical care.

Recent Take Nothing Award

The Applicant filed a specific injury claim against his employer, an automotive parts manufacturer. The Applicant claimed that he injured multiple body parts and stated that he immediately felt pain on the day of the incident. He promptly reported the claim. The Applicant was later terminated for cause.

This Applicant also had a concurrent workers compensation claim against the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) with a different employer. We were able to subpoena the records from his medical treatment specialists at the facility he was being treated at for his subsequent workers’ compensation claim and we found that four days after the said incident with the automotive parts manufacture had occurred, the Applicant had an orthopedic follow up and did not mention the specific injury from the other employer, just his claim against SCIF.

We deposed the Applicant & he testified that he told several co-workers as well as his supervisor of his work related injury right when it had occurred.

The matter went forward to trial & we were able to secure witnesses from the employer. At trial, the Applicant testified that he only told the employer and he did not tell any other person. We used the deposition to impeach the Applicant. We had the employer and the other co-workers testify. They testified that the Applicant never reported the injury and that he was working his normal job duties at the time of the claimed injury. We were also able to rebut the Applicant’s testimony with the statements he made to his primary treating physician with regards to the mechanism of injury.

The Judge issued a Take Nothing Award in favor of the Defendant. In his decision, the Judge stated that he did not find Applicant to be credible. The Judge also used the defense witness’ testimony, as well as the medical report from his concurrent workers compensation claim.

PATRICK G. ROSE

EDUCATION

PATRICK G. ROSE graduated Suma Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology from California State University, Fresno. He then obtained his Juris Doctor from Southwestern School of Law, where he received an award for academic achievement in the area of Constitutional Law. Mr. Rose was admitted to the State Bar of California immediately following graduation and is currently admitted to all U.S. District Courts. In addition to being a lifetime member of the Golden Key and Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Societies, he is also a member of the California Bar Association, American Bar Association, Los Angeles Bar Association and Sacramento Bar Association.

BACKGROUND

Mr. Rose began his legal career working as in-house counsel for Amwest Surety Insurance Company. He managed civil litigation cases from claim referral through trial and handled a wide variety of claims including defense and subrogation of automobile accidents, general negligence, premise liability and fraud investigations. Later on, Mr. Rose continued to practice civil litigation for a small firm in San Jose, CA, specializing in Insurance Defense, Governmental Liability, Construction Defect and Employment.

In 2001, M. Rose started practicing Workers’ Compensation law while employed with a mid-sized firm in Northern California. Although he managed some Personal Injury plaintiff casework, his caseload primarily consisted of Workers’ Compensation applicant claims.

Mr. Rose has practiced Workers’ Compensation Defense since 2002. Prior to joining Samuelsen, Gonzalez, Valenzuela & Brown, he was a partner at a large firm in Northern California, specializing in Insurance Defense, Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury. He served as the Directing Partner for the firm’s Subrogation and Civil Litigation Department and managed a caseload consisting of general/civil insurance defense, US Federal Litigation and Appeals, Workers’ Compensation Defense, Subrogation and Appellate work. In addition to his large role at the firm, he also prepared and conducted numerous seminars, presentation and webinars for clients. Mr. Rose prides himself on providing clients with superior litigation while staying mindful of client costs and expenses.

Samuelsen, Gonzalez, Valenzuela & Brown is pleased to have Mr. Rose as an attorney in our Sacramento Office.

AUGUST 2015

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