Cases involving head trauma are usually taken pretty seriously by the Delaware IAB. And the experienced practitioner knows that a variety of permanency can be fleshed out of a good old-fashioned knock on the noggin. As a chronic migraine sufferer (with no history of trauma), I for one am quite sympathetic. I have known headache pain that makes childbirth look like a walk in the park. And I am also old enough to remember the Avon lady selling perfume and cosmetics door to door.
Which brings us to today's case recently issued by the Superior Court - Jennings v. Avon Products, 11A-08-005, Carpenter, 1/4/2013, affirming an IAB decision which declined to award permanency benefits as claimed to the cervical spine, the vestibular system, the brain and the head. And I offer this decision as instructive of how the AMA Guides look at the issue of impairment to these body systems. Dr. John Townsend testified for the claimant; Dr. Roberts Varipapa testified as the defense expert-both are neurologists. Both this opinion and the IAB decision below address the following questions:
• Neck pain with full range of motion-what'll it get you?
• Is a positive Hallpike's maneuver worth anything without an ENG?
• What is the value of a headache log?
• To vomit or not to vomit.... that is the question
• Is the claimant "irritable" due to head trauma residual or because the comp case didn't quite go his way?
Congrats to Frank Nardo of Tybout, Redfearn & Pell for persuading the Board (and the Court) that not everyone who has a 13-pound box dropped on their head has a lifetime of dizziness in front of them.
Irreverently yours,Cassandra Roberts
Visit Delaware Detour & Frolic, a law blog by Cassandra Roberts
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