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Two Employers Dispute Responsibility
Injured Worker Goes Without Benefits for Two Years
The injured: James worked for Trane when he sustained a shoulder injury as a result of an on-the-job incident. His injury was deemed compensable under worker’s compensation and his treatment was covered by Trane’s insurance.
The Facts of the Case
James received treatment for his injury for over a year, and was ultimately released from care. The doctor concluded that he had reached his Maximum Medical Improvement and assigned him a Permanent Partial Rating.
James then became employed by Ag-One, but within months was experiencing increased shoulder pain. His original doctor determined that the pain was a result of his work at his new employer, Ag-One. A Board-appointed Independent Medical Examiner disagreed and said James’ injuries were due to his former employment with Trane. Both physicians agreed that he had not reached his Maximum Medical Improvement. As a result of this disagreement over employer responsibility, neither employer provided James with medical benefits or compensation for over two years.
James filed an Application for Adjustment of Claim against Trane, claiming his sustained injuries resulted from his work while employed there. Trane filed a motion to add Ag-One as a third-party defendant, claiming they were liable for a portion of James’ injuries.
The Worker’s Compensation Board granted Trane’s motion and added Ag-One as a defendant in James’ claim. Ag-One disputed their culpability and appealed the Board’s decision.
Meanwhile, James continued without compensation or benefits.
While the two employers disputed who was responsible for James’ medical bills, he continued to suffer from his injury and receive no compensation. He enlisted the attorneys at Klezmer Maudlin to help him navigate his claim and receive the compensation and benefits he was entitled to.
Even though the Worker’s Compensation Board issued a decision, the appeals process became lengthy while Ag-One persisted in their claim that they were not responsible for paying for any of James’ expenses. Ultimately, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned an original ruling and assigned full responsibility to Trane. This put an end to the discussion of responsibility and James’ received the full benefits he was entitled to.