Winning Results

LOIS Secures Disallowance in light of Claimant’s Erratic Testimony

LOIS Senior Associate Nicholas Minerva and Paralegal Rasheen Russell secured a disallowance in a New York Workers’ Compensation claim in light of the Claimant’s erratic and contradictory testimony. In order to secure this result, Minerva discovered and identified several discrepancies with the Claimant’s allegations.

First, there was a discrepancy with the date of loss: the Claimant originally alleged injury to the back on December 27, 2022, on the first Employee Claim Form, and then changed the date of accident to December 23, 2022, on a subsequent Employee Claim Form. Second, despite the notation on both Employee Claim Forms that the Claimant denied any prior injuries to his back, after performing due diligence, it was discovered that the Claimant had extensive prior treatment to his back, including a prior Workers’ Compensation claim. Third, there were issues with the narrative as to what transpired on the date of loss. Apparently, the Claimant was working as a personal assistant to an elderly woman when this alleged accident happened; however, when speaking with that elderly woman, it was discovered that the Claimant was terminated from his position because he had stolen gift cards from her. Only after being let go did the Claimant seek medical attention and file a claim. Finally, despite the Claimant testifying that he stopped working immediately after falling on ice on December 23, 2022, Minerva was able to produce the timesheets which revealed that the Claimant continued working until at least January 1, 2023. Minerva’s chief defense was that the timesheets indicated that the Claimant worked neither on December 23, 2022, nor on December 27, 2022.

Following a contentious trial where these facts were developed, Minerva argued during oral summations that the claim should be disallowed. Minerva also raised a WCL Section 114-a defense, indicating that the Claimant failed to disclose prior back treatment and in light of the timesheet discrepancies. The Law Judge agreed with Minerva’s position, citing the Claimant’s erratic testimony when confronted with the above facts and finding the Claimant incredible in light of the evidence. The Law Judge’s legal rationale for disallowance was also that this was filed as an “afterthought” and that there was no proper notice provided to the employer. In light of the factual development of the record and continuing to inquire as to the truth, Minerva obtained a favorable result for the client.

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We represent insurance carriers, self-insured employers, third party claim administrators, and employers before the New York State Workers' Compensation Board. We handle cases from cradle-to-grave. We want to be by your side, moving cases aggressively to closure from the start of litigation all the way through to settlement.

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