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Texas: Pro Se Litigant Fails to Establish Causal Connection Between Back Injury and Work-Related Fall

February 02, 2017 (1 min read)

Where a pro se litigant testified that she sustained injuries when she slipped and fell during the course and scope of her employment, but she did not introduce expert medical testimony that showed a causal link between her claimed conditions—disc herniations, cervical radiculitis, and lumbar radiculopathy—and her fall, it was appropriate for the Texas trial judge to direct a verdict in favor of the employer. The Court noted that lay testimony could only be used in a case in which “general experience and common sense” enabled a layperson to determine the causal relationship with reasonable probability. Otherwise, expert testimony was generally necessary to establish causation of medical conditions that were outside the common knowledge and experience of jurors. The pro se litigant’s case was well beyond the level of controversy that could be established with lay testimony.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Kelley v. Aldine Indep. Sch. Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 829 (Jan. 31, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 128.05.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law