In a case where a 7-year-old decision found a claimant to have a permanent total disability, LOIS Partner Christian Sison requested a reclassification of the claimant based on covert surveillance that discovered the claimant’s ability to perform activities that were initially deemed impossible. The claimant was previously found to have an exertional ability that limited her to perform sedentary work. However, evidence produced after the permanent disability finding indicated otherwise, with the claimant seen performing various household activities without the use of the assistive device previously alleged to have been necessary.
The tactic caused the claimant to write a personal letter to the Judge, arguing that a reclassification was unfair. However, Christian pointed out that in prior trials for this specific case, the claimant had incredulously asked for her daughter to be paid as the claimant’s personal home health aide. Christian connected the surveillance videos with the medical reports to link the claimant’s lack of credibility.
The Law Judge agreed that a reclassification was proper. In reversing the permanent total disability finding, the case exposure changed from a benefit in perpetuity to a much smaller fixed period of 250 weeks. The drastic change in exposure is now likely positioning the case for an amenable settlement and an efficient resolution.