Case name: Myers v. Madison Wood Preservers, No. 2338-11-2 (Va. Ct. App. 07/03/12, unpublished).
Ruling: In an unpublished decision, the Virginia Court of Appeals denied benefits to a technician for his knee injury, finding that he failed to show a causal connection between the workplace accident and his knee condition.
What it means: In Virginia, an injured worker has the burden of proving a causal connection between the workplace accident and his injury.
Summary: A maintenance technician at a lumber yard was standing on a conveyor belt to replace a broken part on a vehicle when a coworker turned on the conveyor belt. The technician fell. Soon after, he visited his doctor with ankle and foot pain. He did not report an injury to his knee. He continued to work. A few weeks later, his knee started to hurt. He was diagnosed with a medial meniscus tear and osteoarthritis and underwent surgery. He sought benefits for his knee, claiming that it was injured in the workplace accident. The Virginia Court of Appeals denied benefits to the technician.
The court concluded that the technician failed to show a causal connection between the workplace accident and his knee injury. The court said that the medical records suggested the contrary. No medical evidence supported his argument that the workplace accident caused the knee condition. Immediately after the accident, he only complained of foot and ankle pain. When he first sought treatment for his knee pain a few weeks after the incident, he did not mention the work accident. No health care provider related the knee condition to the work incident. The diagnosis was not work-related.
The court mentioned that the technician returned to work after the accident before he experienced any knee pain. His work required him to kneel and crawl.
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August 27, 2012
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