This was sent to me by defense counsel (and fashion icon) Paula Witherow. I wanted her commentary on our cases du jour, but all I got was a copy of two decisions in the case of Cody Varnes v. Diamond State Mechanical. Paula is not one to boast, but boast she should as she won this one twice.....and I clearly remember the day she called me after victory #1.
A little bit of a back story is in order. The first hearing in Cody's case occurred in 2011. The case was heard by (now retired) Hearing Officer Lydia Anderson. Cody Varnes, capably represented by the ever-genial and always-astute Joe Weik, failed to make a case for a back injury arising out of a specific accident in case number one. Nothing remarkable there..... other than the fact that in closing her decision, Hearing Officer Anderson invited Cody to re-file under the theory of cumulative detrimental effect, and/or a different date of injury that was also bandied about during this first hearing but not plead as the date of accident. Paula called me upon receipt of the decision (she was kind of irate) and it was one of those "well don't that beat all?" moments....LOL!
So our friend Cody got two bites of the apple....and choked on them both. I give you a total of 53 pages of Cody Varnes-Cody Varnes v. Diamond State Mechanical, IAB#1359330 (2/16/11) and Cody Varnes v. Diamond State Mechanical, IAB#1375690 (7/17/12). Cody Varnes, the Sequel, was heard by a Board Panel (Mr. Daniello and Dr. Medinilla) --and unlike marriage, this was not better the second time around. The cumulative detrimental effect theory did not even make a cameo appearance and the later date of accident (two months later than the first) did not carry the day. Cody changed lawyers as well as date of injury, and this time was represented by the long-suffering Brian Lutness. I am thinking that maybe Cody should file a third time and we can all be entertained watching Joe Weik and Brian duke it out over that attorney retaining lien......:>)
Irreverently yours,Cassandra Roberts
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