A nurse can never work again according to the Commission, affirming an award of permanent and total disability and open medical for a 49 year old R.N. in Jordan v. St. John's Mercy Health Systems, DOLIR 8-11-11. The Commission modified her compensation rate. The claimant had a sporadic attendance prior to her accident lifting a patient and did not establish the prior work absence flowed from regular or scheduled days. The commission affirmed an award of future medical, but noted the award did not include specific future medical expenses identified in a life care plan.
The claimant underwent three back surgeries after a 2-person lift of a 400 pound patient. Claimant required a multi-level fusion and a morphine pump, and incurred $543,737 in unpaid medical expenses following the 2002 accident. Claimant's expert concluded medications for her back clouded claimant's capacity to make professional judgments. The Commission affirmed the award of past unpaid medical. The employer appealed on several grounds, and asserted the administrative law judge did not list past bills as an "issue" in the award.
Source: Martin Klug, Huck, Howe & Tobin. Read Martin Klug's Mo. Workers' Comp Alerts.
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