Bradt Law Offices Case Report: Gillette Injury and Back Surgery Accepted

Type of Case:   Workers’ Compensation

Legal Issue or Dispute:   Denial of claim for a work-related low back injury and surgery

Facts:   Our client worked for a mid-sized employer in northern Minnesota.  Her job involved assembly and the operation of various machines. She was on her feet throughout most of a work shift, standing on a concrete floor.  Her job duties involved a lot of bending, twisting and lifting, although she wasn’t lifting particularly heavy weights.  She developed the gradual onset of low back pain with her work activities and eventually started to have pain going down her leg.

The claim was completely denied by the employer and its workers’ compensation insurer, because she had never had a specific injury to her back while at work.  Our client was forced to undergo surgery and missed time from work.  Fortunately, she had medical insurance to pay for the surgery, but no coverage for wage loss.  We gathered her medical records, reviewed her medical history and filed a claim on her behalf.  Our claim was for a Gillette injury, which means that her daily work activities gradually led to the development of back problems and need for surgery. (These claims are  referred to as Gillette injuries,  in reference to a landmark 1960 Minnesota case, Gillette v. Harold, Inc,  which established that work injuries may occur as a result of   repetitive or cumulative minor trauma brought about by the performance of ordinary job duties.)

Result:   The case was settled at a settlement conference before trial.  The insurance company agreed to accept the claim and pay our client’s lost wages, medical mileage and outstanding medical bills.  The insurance company also agreed to reimburse the health insurance company and to pay all future claims related to her low back condition.  Best of all, our client was able to return to work at her regular job and at full wage within her work restrictions.

Contact Us Anytime with Questions about Your Claim

If your claim has been denied by the workers’ compensation insurance company, you should contact an experienced work comp lawyer right away.  Many people simply walk away from a work comp claim after they receive a denial letter.  The insurance companies know that many people will be intimidated by a denial and also afraid to contact an attorney.  If you walk away without a fight – they win.

Don’t ever be afraid to contact us if you have questions about a claim.  Your free consultation will never cost you anything and we will give you our honest assessment about whether you need a lawyer or whether we can help.

If you decide to hire us,  whether now or at some later time, there are no costs or expenses to you.  We don’t ask for any money up front and we only get paid if we win.  For more information about hiring us and how we get paid, please see this earlier post.

As always, thank you for visiting our blog and please tell your friends that we are a source of good work comp information for workers injured in northern Minnesota or anywhere on the Iron Range.