By Tom Brown —
I just received a 2nd Award of benefits from the Appellate Division at the State Board of Workers' Compensation, granting one year of back pay benefits and two years of full medical care to a wonderful Bosnian client that worked for Wal-Mart for 19 years. The reason this Award/decision is so special to me is because this sweet lady speaks very little English, and for the past 19 years she did nothing but hard labor at Wal-Mart. She never had a specific injury but her back continued to get worse every year.
In August 2016 she went to be examined by her family doctor because she could not work any longer. Her pain was intolerable. The family doctor took her out of work for a full week. She came to me right after that time and I developed her legal and medical case over the next 8 months. We took Wal-Mart to the State Board of Workers' Compensation and won. Wal-Mart offered $170,000 to settle her case plus giving her an opportunity to continue her group insurance. We refused the offer and Wal-Mart appealed to the Appellate Division.
Their decision was just published. The beautiful decision from the Appellate Division affirms the favorable decision we previously received from the administrative Law Judge.
Wal-Mart's lawyer told me they will appeal no further.
My client will finally be allowed to obtain medical care which is a three level lumbar spine fusion operation in an attempt to correct the lumbar spine damages done by 19 years of hard work at Wal-Mart. She will now be able to also obtain weekly Workers' Compensation benefits.
This is a classic case of gradual onset of injury and we are pleased to be able to have won this case for this very sweet lady. When I told her that the appeal process is over, she said to me, “Good, now I can have the operation and go back to work at Wal-Mart.” Amazing!
–THOMAS F. BROWN, II