Case name: Kinne v. HB Employment Services/Outdoor Adventures, Inc., 27 MIWCLR 51 (Mich. C.A.C. 2013).
Ruling: The Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission affirmed the magistrate's decision denying benefits based on a finding that the worker's low back pathology was not significantly aggravated by his employment and work injuries.
What it means: In Michigan, a worker will have difficulty proving that his injury was work-related when he did not claim any work relationship when first seeking medical treatment though he was specifically asked.
The commission affirmed the magistrate's decision denying benefits based on a finding that the worker's low back pathology was not significantly aggravated by his employment and work injuries. In addressing the worker's credibility, the commission noted that he first sought medical treatment two weeks after the final work incident. However, the worker did not claim any work relationship when seeking the treatment though he was specifically asked. He did not seek treatment with his current treating doctor until one year after the alleged final incident at work. The doctor testified he was not aware the worker did not report his claimed work injuries to medical providers until one year after the incident, or that he previously reported the injury to be not work-related. The magistrate found these facts undermined the worker's credibility.
The magistrate explained that although the worker had a back problem that required treatment and resulted in impairment of function, he fell short of proving that any injury arose out of and in the course of employment. As the magistrate's findings were supported by sufficient evidence, and he applied the appropriate law, the commission affirmed his decision.
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September 9, 2013
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