Drug test irregularities, causation issue justify reasonable contest
Case name: Savage v. Core Staff, Inc., 25 PAWCLR 12 (WCAB 06/18/10).
The Workers' Compensation Appeal Board reversed in part and modified in part the workers' compensation judge's grant of the claimant's claim petition.
What it means: Evidence that the claimant engaged in suspicious conduct regarding a post-accident drug test and changed his story regarding how his injury occurred supports a finding that the employer's contest of the claim was reasonable.
Summary: The Workers' Compensation Appeal Board ruled that the workers' compensation judge erred in finding the employer presented an unreasonable contest to the claimant's claim petition. After reporting his injury and being informed that he would be required under company policy to take a drug test, the claimant changed his mind about requesting medical treatment. Additionally, the claimant allegedly failed to report promptly for the drug test, the urine specimen he provided had irregularities, and he refused to take a retest. The claimant reportedly admitted to the employer's staffing coordinator that he was not injured on the job. The board found that this evidence could have given the employer an affirmative defense to the claim petition. The board reversed the WCJ's award of unreasonable contest attorney's fees.
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October 11, 2010
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