We really enjoy our client Jason and his wife of 40 years, Wendy.
For 30 years, Jason has driven and slogged through rain, mud, ice, snow, and heat to deliver packages and parcels throughout the area. He started with an international company known for its ubiquitous and distinctive brown trucks … a kissing cousin, if you will, of the company Tom Hanks flew for before being “Cast Away” on a deserted island for several years.
I’ve had the honor of representing many of Jason’s fellow package delivery drivers over the years. Without fail, they are some of the hardest working, most pleasant people I know. And their injuries nearly always involve their back or knees, not surprisingly. I mean, we see these men and women all the time and know they “run the tightest ship in the shipping business.”
Jason worked all those years escaping injury, but it finally happened. As he was stepping off his truck to deliver packages, his knee twisted as he hit the pavement, and he felt it pop out of place. It started swelling immediately. After he finished the delivery, he called his supervisor and was directed to the company’s preferred medical providers who ultimately diagnosed lateral and medial meniscus tears.
So, what can Brown do for you when its own doctors relate the knee injury to the work incident? Can they fight your claim even when you’re a 30-year employee with no prior injuries? They said, “Sure we can!” and so they did.
Initially, the Industrial Commission denied the claim. The hearing officer (a former defense attorney) concluded the injury was idiopathic (i.e., of unknown cause) and coincidental to Jason’s employment. But that’s not the proper standard: The question is whether the injury arose out of and was sustained in the course of employment. Agreeing that it did, the appellate hearing officer allowed Jason’s claim, permitting him finally to have surgery six months after the injury.
The Client is Successfully Awarded Compensation Without Trial
While we had additional allowance issues (another ligament tear and arthritis) pending in the claim, the company, always “moving at the speed of business,” decided to appeal into court the allowance of the claim. Since Jason had enough time in to be vested in retirement benefits, the company decided he was capable of “delivering more than just packages” and settled the matter before trial.
It’s nice when people and companies can come together as “united problem solvers”!