Case name: Marroquin v. F. Monarca Masonry, et al., No. AC30692 (Conn. App. Ct. 06/01/10).
Ruling: The Connecticut Appellate Court found that an employer was entitled to reimbursement by a previous employer for benefits for complications related to a prior surgery that occurred when the employee worked for the previous employer.
What it means: An employer may be required to reimburse another employer for a workers' compensation claim when there is one injury with later complications.
Summary: A masonry worker suffered a work-related hernia while employed by a construction company and had surgery. While working for a subsequent employer, he lifted some cinder blocks and experienced sharp pain. He underwent exploratory surgery. The surgeon discovered that the mesh used in the previous surgery had migrated. A second surgery was performed to remove the remaining mesh. The second employer paid benefits for the employee's workers' compensation claim and sought to be reimbursed from the construction company. The court decided that there was no new injury and the insertion of a mesh plug during the first surgery was the cause of the need for the second surgery. Therefore, the construction company had to reimburse the employer.
The construction company argued that the employee suffered an aggravation of the earlier injury which should be considered a second injury. The court stated that this case involved a single injury with complications years later.
The court also stated that the use of the word "aggravation" in testimony by the surgeon did not demonstrate that the lifting incident caused the need for two surgeries.
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August 23, 2010
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