The Applicant, a 23-year-old male who was working as a farm laborer, suffered an industrial injury to his back and psyche on August 17, 2009. After the parties conducted discovery, the matter was settled via Stipulations with Request for Award (stips) on March 18, 2013 at 39% permanent disability & a further need for medical care.
On August 14, 2014, the Applicant filed a skeletal Petition for New and Further Disability. The Applicant did not specifically identify any new medical evidence supporting his claim for further disability. On April 23, 2015, a Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) was held. By the time of the MSC, the applicant had not appeared for a medical/legal evaluation to assess new and further disability. The Defendants were able to close discovery and set the matter for trial.
Trial was held on June 17, 2015 at which time the Applicant could only offer a treating doctor report as evidence of his new and further disability. Both the Applicant & his wife testified that he was generally worse off than he was at the time of the stips. These statements were not adequate evidence, as disability requires expert medical opinion, and the information was ultimately dismissed.
After the trial was held, Judge Gregory Cleveland issued a Findings and Order on July 8, 2015, ruling that applicant had not presented any medical evidence of new and further disability and, as such, dismissed applicant’s Petition.