This post is a nod to Chris Logullo and “The Big Bang Theory.” This is a successive carrier case that Chris wanted to share.
Background: Injury #1 occurs on 7/27/12 with carrier #1. Injury #1 was a right inguinal hernia which ruptured claimant’s abdominal wall (now there’s an “ouch” for you!) Injury #2 occurs on 6/18/13 with carrier #2, which is Chris’ client, Liberty Mutual. Y’all know them, -- they always do the right thing (and did they ever in this case). Injury #2 is a “groin strain.” When claimant files for a 15% permanency to the abdominal wall, carrier #1 argues that under the “Last Injurious Exposure” rule, all of the permanency belongs to carrier #2 Liberty Mutual. That argument fails, but on a happier note it produces a lovely little tutorial on a quirky little issue.
I asked Chris what this all meant in a nutshell and he explains:
I think it clarifies successive carrier liability in that the injury has to be to the same body part that was originally injured. Some defense counsel have been trying to argue that "any injury" cuts of compensability when there is a successive carrier issue. In this case you have two different abdominal injuries. The prior carrier was trying to argue that any injury to the abdomen cuts off liability when there is a subsequent accident, and a successive carrier. In this matter we had a prior hernia that required a surgical repair vs. a subsequent groin strain. The argument that Ken [Carmine, on behalf of the claimant] and I made was that they were different injuries and that successive carrier did not apply. There was also a difference in the injuries in that one was on the right side and the other was on the left side. It also confirms that if a party is trying to prove successive carrier liability it must provide medical testimony to discuss the aggravation of the prior injury.
Thank you, Chris! The case in question is Richard DeJesus v. Wilmington Housing Authority, IAB# 1386136 & 1400508 (1/29/14)(ORDER). I have to think this is one that only a man can appreciate….:>)
Irreverently yours,Cassandra Roberts
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