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Workers' Compensation

Twice Blessed……and Two Spinal Cord Stimulator Cases From the First State

Twins at Wedding with Cheez-It

Above is a picture of Keri Morris' twins Madison Rose and Landon.  They were recently in a wedding and don't they look cute enough to be the cake topper?  Every time I look at this pic, it tickles me how the little guy has a cheese cracker in his hand.......someone ought to tap him for a Cheez-it commercial.  Just too cute, these kids.  And actually, Keri Morris has absolutely nothing to do with either of the following cases.....LOL!!

Turning to the topic of the day, it is the spinal cord stimulator.  I am not sure if there are any cases out there where one has been denied.  If there are, they are a distinct minority.  So what do we have for your scrutiny?  Keeping with my theme of "twins", here are two recent cases with a similar outcome.

   Lewis Liberti v. Delaware Racing Assn., IAB# 1346590 (8/30/12). This matter came to the IAB on a Termination Petition and a claimant's UR appeal of a Utilization review non-cert of a proposed trial spinal cord stimulator. Dr. Selina Xing was the treating doctor and Dr. Ali Kalamchi testified for the carrier. Of note, the Termination was denied and an FCE was disregarded-admittedly, the FCE was completed with great difficulty. Of further note, there were issues that the UR reviewer was either mistaken or confused about. The Board reached its decision in claimant's favor with a comprehensive discussion of arguments both yea and nay and stated it was "significant that Dr. Kalamchi agreed with Dr. Xing that there was little downside to a stimulator trial."

   Attlay Bennett v. State of DE, IAB# 1289314 (8/16/12). This was a DACD for a proposed spinal cord stimulator that was challenged on the basis of both unreasonable and unnecessary, as well as causation, thus rendering it inappropriate for a UR. Dr. Peter Witherell testified for the claimant and Dr. William Sommers testified for the State. The Board found that claimant's condition was related and awarded the stimulator. The Board took a dim view of Dr. Sommers' attempt to re-litigate causation of an injury that had been accepted as compensable, referred to his opinion as "inconsistent", and commented that he did "not listen to claimant's complaints about the side effects from medication and her statement that she wants to be able to stop taking medication." On the one hand Dr. Sommers referred to the claimant as a symptom-magnifier and on the other he suggested she try stronger medications. Dr. Witherell's testimony in favor of the spinal cord stimulator was detailed, specific to claimant's medical treatment history and diagnostics, and being offered from the vantage point of a pain management specialist.

Switching gears once again, I am taking my first trip to the Poconos this weekend.  My husband's birthday gift is a trip to Bushkill Falls.  I am going to hike, another first, and not something compatible with my usual skill set.  I am the gal who in high school came close to failing gym....and was President of the Library Aides.  How nerdy is that?  Hopefully I will return without injury next week with a picture for my next blog post.   Consider this a call for any cases involving athletic events, tick bites, hotel gift shop injuries, or trip and falls......oh, I so see it coming....LOL!!!

Irreverently yours,
Cassandra Roberts

Delaware Detour & Frolic   Visit Delaware Detour & Frolic, a law blog by Cassandra Roberts

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