LOIS Partner Christian Sison was asked to defend a self-insured employer in a difficult case (K.S. v R.G., Inc.), wherein the claimant sustained burns after a pilot light on a grill malfunctioned. As the claimant’s rehabilitation progressed, LOIS secured a judicial ruling that the claimant had a temporary partial disability that required the claimant to mitigate the damages by looking for work within those restrictions or pursuing vocational rehabilitation. However, LOIS also was able to suspend indemnity benefits because of the claimant’s separate failure to produce medical evidence to substantiate wage loss benefits.
The claimant failed to abide by both judicial orders to attach to the labor market and to produce new medical evidence. In a hearing that was conducted primarily to litigate the claimant’s status as having reached maximum medical improvement, Christian thoughtfully noted for the trial Judge that the claimant must be found to have withdrawn his attachment to the labor market. The Judge questioned why such litigation was necessary, given the fact that the claimant was not receiving any indemnity benefits to require mitigation. Undeterred, Christian argued that without a “no attachment” finding, the claimant could simply produce medical evidence to reinstate awards without satisfying his obligation to attach to the labor market. The Judge was ultimately persuaded. She found in favor of LOIS and its self-insured client.
Christian is the Practice Director of all New York Self-Insured and Large Deductible Risk at Lois Law Firm. He can be reached at email@example.com or 201-880-7213.