Nebraska: Failure to Follow Doctor’s Orders Defeats Otherwise Compensable Claim

Nebraska: Failure to Follow Doctor’s Orders Defeats Otherwise Compensable Claim

A Nebraska appellate court has affirmed a decision by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Court that limited an injured employee’s medical benefits to the costs of his first medical appointment where it found that the employee thereafter failed to follow and comply with his physician’s orders following his development of a large blister on his big toe, caused by work shoes that he was required to wear.  The employee, who had been earlier diagnosed with diabetes and admitted that he had failed to seek training in how to manage that disease, in spite of admonitions by his physician that he do so, developed a serious blister on his toe during his second day of work with the employer.  At the hearing, he admitted he did not take the prescribed antibiotics for the length of time required by his physician, failed to use crutches prescribed for him so that he could keep his weight off the affected toe and foot, and did not wear the specially prescribed open-toed, mesh shoe that would have helped in his recovery. The appellate court agreed with the Commission that the employer sustained its burden of showing that the employee had unreasonably hindered his medical treatment and was otherwise not compliant.  The court indicated that the employee's actions amounted to an independent intervening event so as to terminate the employer’s responsibility for any workers' compensation benefits after the initial visit to the doctor.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.

See Boger v. Magnus Co., 2014 Neb. App. LEXIS 54 (Feb. 25, 2014), [2014 Neb. App. LEXIS 54 (Feb. 25, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 10.10 [10.10]

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

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