Case name: Mendoza v. Old Republic Insurance Co., No. 08-08-00337-CV (Tex. Ct. App. 07/30/10).
The Texas Court of Appeals held that the insurer was not entitled to summary judgment because there was a question of whether the worker suffered an aggravation of a preexisting condition.
What it means: An aggravation of a preexisting injury is compensable under the Texas workers' compensation law. If a question of fact exists regarding whether a worker suffered an aggravation of a preexisting injury, summary judgment should be denied.
Summary: A worker filed suit after she was injured on the job while working for a manufacturer. The manufacturer's insurer argued that the worker failed to exhaust her administrative remedies. The worker previously suffered a work-related injury to her left arm, left hand and neck. However, records from the Division of Workers' Compensation showed that the left hand and neck injuries were not included in her previous work injury.
Instead of appealing that decision, the court said that the worker "concocted a new injury" and filed a new workers' compensation claim. The Texas Court of Appeals denied summary judgment to the insurer because there was a question of fact regarding whether the worker suffered an aggravation of a preexisting condition.
The manufacturer's injury report indicated that after the worker returned to work after her first injury, she reported a subsequent injury to her left arm, thumb, index and middle fingers, and neck. The report established that the worker had experienced pain since the date of the first work injury.
The court stated that although the worker testified that the injury related back to the date of the first injury, the court must infer that she suffered an injury after she returned to work.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
October 19, 2010
Copyright 2010© LRP Publications