TT&H Attorney Mike Bliley wins unanimous reversal before Supreme Court of Virginia on Workers’ Compensation case
October 19, 2020
Attorney Mike Bliley, head of our Virginia Workers’ Compensation practice, appealed a Workers’ Compensation case to the Supreme Court of Virginia. On October 15, 2020 Mike won a unanimous reversal, marking the first time the Supreme Court of Virginia has issued a reversal on a Workers’ Compensation appeal in over five years.
The Claimant, a teacher for Alexandria City Public Schools, slipped on hand sanitizer and fell on her right side. She filed a claim for benefits alleging injuries to the neck, right hip and right knee, all of which were accepted by the carrier. However, she also alleged a shoulder injury, even though there was no evidence she suffered a shoulder injury. The Commission nevertheless found that Claimant was entitled to lifetime medical benefits for her right shoulder. The Court of Appeals affirmed, but did so with a completely different analysis that expanded Workers’ Compensation liability. The Court of Appeals held that a claimant must only prove an injury to one body part, with all claimed injuries to any body part then being deemed compensable. Accepting Mike’s argument, the Supreme Court of Virginia unanimously reversed the Lower Court’s decision. The Court reinstated the limited definition of injury, thereby limiting a carrier’s lability in cases where a claimant alleges injuries to multiple body parts.
Questions about this case can be directed to Mike Bliley, at (571) 464-0435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.