The Employee won her case in Lena v Fred Meyer Stores, Decision and Order 16-0135 issued on December 30, 2016.
In Lena, Fred Meyers lost both defenses it claimed. First it claimed that the Employee had not timely report her injury. The Board determined that she had reported the injury.
Fred Meyers then claimed that the condition, an aggravation of foot condition that required surgery, was not work-related. It relied upon the opinion of a doctor it hired, Dr. Scot Youngblood, an "independent medical examiner", in which he stated what the Employer hired him to write. The Board discounted his opinion because he didn't understand Alaska’s legal standard.
Under the Alaska Workers Compensation Act, if a work event aggravates, accelerates or combined with a pre-existing condition to create a disability or need for medical treatment, then it is workers compensation injury.
Most importantly, there is no distinction between aggravation of symptoms and aggravation of an underlying condition. If a work event, even chronic overuse, aggravates symptoms creating a disability or need for treatment, then the injury is workers compensation. The Employee is entitled to have her medical treatment paid for by the Employer and to be compensated for her lost wages.
Keenan Powell has practiced law in Alaska for more than 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans.
All consultations are free. If you want to set up a meeting, use the contact form on www.keenanpowell.com or call: 907 258 7663.