Aggressive Defense Wins Workers’ Compensation Case
Case Study

Aggressive Defense Wins Workers’ Compensation Case

December 18, 2018

When a woman backed out of a tentative agreement to settle her potential six-figure workers’ compensation claim for a moderate amount, opting instead for litigation, we were ready.

The defense we mounted for our client, a national food services, hospitality, and support company, was aggressive. And it worked. On November 15, 2018, at a formal hearing at the Administrative Hearings Division in Washington, D.C., associate attorney Meredith L. Pendergrass, a member of Goldberg Segalla’s Workers’ Compensation Practice Group, defeated all claims for relief against the company.

By then the case with all its twists and turns was 15 months old and veering into sometimes odd territory. The claimant, a 45-year old manager, had filed her claim after sustaining a minor injury in an accident at work on August 14, 2017, and then being terminated for failing to show up for work. She had been unable to work, she said, because she had developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome after being injured, and she set about seeking penalties against our client for retaliatory discharge, ongoing temporary total disability benefits, and medical care.

It was then that we turned aggressive. The claimant had recovered from her injury and was able to work, we argued; she wasn’t fired simply for not showing up but for doing so without providing disability slips after her doctor discharged her from care. We raised the possibility of an intervening injury. We provided expert testimony regarding the lack of a causal relationship between the original work injury and the alleged pain syndrome the claimant was alleging she had developed. And Meredith worked closely with the adjuster and the employer to identify and secure witnesses who could bolster our defense. The result was a resounding win for our client.