Mary C. has been our client for nearly 25 years. It was way back then that she suffered her first of four injuries working for Honda in that city where the grass is greener. While auto manufacturing is much more automated than when Henry Ford made cars (“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”), human involvement is still essential, often requiring odd twisting and heavy lifting.
Honda manufacturing used to be a very high-paying job, though now people are typically hired through temp agencies and earn about half of what workers used to get. Although she left school in Kentucky after the seventh grade, Mary knew how to work hard. A salt-of-the-earth kind of gal, Mary soldiered through her lack of education and earned her keep doing heavy manufacturing work. She started in production assembly and developed bilateral hand swelling and pain and numbness of the wrists and arms. Despite being diagnosed with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, she kept working and injured her right elbow reaching for an air gun. Three years later, she tripped over a parts cart, fell onto her outstretched left hand, and broke a finger. Still, like the Energizer Bunny, she kept on going!
Finally, she developed lower and mid-back pain while hand-loading glass as the hydraulic lift typically used was broken. The disc herniation in her lower back caused such pain and leg weakness that she fell, breaking her big toe and fracturing her forearm where it joins at the elbow.
Her doctor stated Mary was no longer fit to work in any position because she couldn’t stand or walk for any length of time. Her chronic low back pain led to weakness in her legs and several falls, the need for a cane, and regular pain medication, making her unsafe to work in any capacity.
The Industrial Commission agreed with us that the residuals from Mary’s various injuries left her permanently unable to work. Though her manufacturing work took its toll on her body, her future financial and medical needs will be met.