The Claimant had an established neck injury related to a 2022 work accident. The Claimant was treated and returned to work full duty. Four days later the Claimant allegedly was injured again when he was standing at a supervisor’s station (wooden structure) when it was hit by a forklift and it caused the structure “to move 2 feet”. As a result, the Claimant alleged injuries to the neck and low back. There was a video of the accident. The Claimant sought treatment with the same doctors who treated him for his prior accident and sought treatment for both claims.
The Claimant testified on and reported that his entire desk moved and made his lower back and neck jerk. He alleged his neck was a new injury than his prior 2022 injury. He stated he had no one to report the injury to as he was a supervisor and didn’t remember when he reported the injury. The Carrier obtained an IME record review, who viewed the video of the accident. He noted that a forklift driver bumps into the Claimant’s platform and his body slightly shifted. The Claimant continued to work on the platform, was seen walking on and off the platform, walking in no apparent distress. He was also seen chatting with other coworkers. Finally, the IME opined that there was no injury that took place.
Depositions took place of all treating doctors and a different IME of the Carrier. The Claimant’s doctors failed to review the video of the accident, despite being provided with it.
The Claimant’s testimony and the testimony of two employer-witnesses testified. The Claimant testified to have back problems for 20 years, but denied any neck problems prior to the workplace injury. He testified that he was bent over his desk looking at a tablet when his desk was hit. He stated he was in pain for the next hour and left. The first witness reported that the forklift accidentally tapped the Claimant’s dock-stand; the forklift was going approximately 1 mile per hour. No one saw the Claimant move and the Claimant stated he was fine (with a smile) after his stand was bumped. The second witness reported that the Claimant’s desk weight about 1,500 pounds and it was only slightly bumped. Finally, this witness reported that the desk only moved 1-2 inches.
In a Reserved Decision, the Law Judge first disallowed the Claimant’s thoracic spine in his 2022 injury based upon the credible testimony of our IME. The Law Judge disallowed the Claimant’s second date of accident based upon the credible record review from our IME and credible testimonies from the employer-witnesses. The Law Judge further opined that the Claimant’s testimony and details of the accident given to his medical providers were inconsistent with the video of the accident. The video only demonstrated a minor bumping of the platform; the claimant’s explanation that the desk moved 2 feet was a clear exaggeration.