Morrison Mahoney Associate David Allweiss recently prevailed in a workers' compensation case. The claimant, an ultrasound operator for a veterinary clinic, filed for workers’ compensation benefits, alleging that she injured her left shoulder while carrying ultrasound equipment between her car and a clinic office. A few days after the claim was set up, she had a telephone conversation with the claims adjuster that was recorded. In the course of that conversation, she stated that she did not receive prior treatment for that left shoulder, but that she received prior injections to her other shoulder and for a trigger finger condition. Based on that statement, the claim was accepted and payments commenced. Records obtained thereafter demonstrated that she had treated for the left shoulder prior to the accident date.
At trial, we confronted the claimant with the transcript of the recorded telephone conversation. She said the reason why she stated that she did not have prior left shoulder treatment was because she suffered from depression, which caused memory loss, and that during the conversation, she had forgotten about the prior treatment. However, she was forced to admit that her memory still allowed her to disclose the prior right shoulder and trigger finger treatment. In response, she claimed that there had been a subsequent telephone conversation in which she admitted her mistaken omission and sought to correct it. We also confronted her with her accident report which indicated that she had no prior left shoulder injuries and her intake sheet from the IME, in which she answered “no” when asked about any prior injuries or accidents.