Applicant, a 60 year old farm laborer, claimed to have suffered a cumulative trauma injury to his neck, abdomen, back and foot in the course & scope of employment with the farm labor contractor (06/01/2012 – 10/19/2012). Applicant had worked in the fields for approximately 10 years. His job duties did include frequent repetitive work of removing leaves and gathering grapes and walking on wet surfaces. Applicant alleged being exposed to pesticides and working in the fields over the years had caused his symptoms. 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 an industrial injury were reports from non-MPN PTP, Dr. Toutoundjian. According to the medical reports, over time, the applicant developed neck pain, groin, mid back and low back pain radiating to his left foot from working his daily job duties. Dr. Toutoundjian found the applicant on TTD for Applicant had also been recently diagnosed with autoimmune disorder, Myasthenia Gravis (MG).
Applicant was seen by an internal QME who found all of the applicant’s symptoms were related to the MG. The QME found the applicant’s history of working around pesticides in the fields would not cause the MG or current symptoms. The QME also noted that the autoimmune MG would have been present absent any industrial exposure and did not find an industrial injury.
At Trial, Applicant’s attorney did not provide evidence to rebut the QME report. The Applicant refused to testify on his own behalf. Applicant’s attorney did not support his burden of proving the claim was AOE/COE.
Since the applicant could not prove his injury was industrially related, the ALJ ordered the applicant to take nothing on his claim. The Applicant is not entitled to compensation in the form of temporary disability, permanent disability, need for further medical care, or coverage of attorney’s fees.