In my case,Williams v McDonalds, the Alaska Workers Compensation Board handed down a decision yesterday: Williams D&O 15-0116. It's 75 pages long so I'll summarize: The Employee won!
The Board made several rulings, the most important is that the old "pre-existing condition" defense used by the Employer to refuse benefits was invalid. The Board ordered the Employer to pay all back temporary total disability benefits plus penalties and to immediately start paying medical benefits, including a needed back surgery.
In this case, the Employee had an injury and back surgery in 1987. For the following 27 years, he worked hard and had absolutely no back pain other than normal strains. In 2014, he slipped on ice and fell, injuring his back again. The 2014 employer claimed that his injury was "preexisting" because of the 1987 injury.
The Board ruled the 2014 injury was not preexisting because the Employee had no pain complaints in the 27 years before the 2014 injury and he had not seen a doctor from the time he recovered from the 1987 surgery until the 2014 fall.
Keenan Powell has more than 30 years experience fighting for the rights of injured Alaskans. Currently accepting new cases.
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