Burdine & Brown
Can a Claim Be Denied Solely Because I Did Not Put on My Employment Application I Had Two Minor Fender Bender Automobile Accidents Years Before This Job Application?
There is the case of Rycroft (1989) that controls here. The employer must prove that you knowingly and willingly made a false representation about your physical condition and that the employer relied on that representation and that there is a causal connection between the false representation and the job injury. That is a big burden for the employer to pursue.
In a recent case early in 2019, the employer denied the worker's claim based on a Rycroft defense stating the two prior automobile accidents barred his job injury claim. The injured worker testified that he did not consider these accidents because they were only fender benders in two different parking lots. The Judge examined the medical records after each of the accidents and found they were “very minor”. The Judge found the worker's testimony credible and that he did not make a false statement about his prior medical condition.
I tell all my clients at the time we settle their claim to tell ALL to a new employer. To withhold evidence of a prior injury will cause a person to possibly lose a claim for what could be a very serious injury. As Bob Dylan said in “When He Returns: Truth is an arrow, and the gate is narrow, but it passes through.” Keep this in mind.