TT&H Attorneys Jim Tinnyo and John Morgan Successfully Amend Injury Description and Terminate Benefits in Orthopedic and Pulmonary Claim
May 03, 2022
TT&H Attorneys Jim Tinnyo and John Morgan recently won a Review Petition and Termination Petition in Reading, Pennsylvania, with the Court concluding that the extent of Claimant’s injury was a strain/contusion, rather than the originally-accepted rotator cuff tear, and that Claimant had fully recovered. This claim involved a Claimant in his 80’s who fell at work, resulting in a shoulder injury, fractured rib, and pulmonary complications. Based on an early MRI that showed a rotator cuff tear, the carrier initially accepted a rotator cuff tear, and even paid for shoulder replacement surgery. Upon closer examination, the rotator cuff tear was clearly chronic and pre-existing. The Court agreed with Jim and John’s argument and expert testimony, and amended the description of injury to simply a shoulder strain/contusion, found that the shoulder replacement surgery was not work-related, and concluded that the Claimant had fully recovered.
The Claimant attempted to rebut the full recovery opinions through ongoing complaints of shortness of breath, which he related to the prior pulmonary complications. However, Claimant’s advanced age, physical deconditioning, obesity, and 45-year smoking history each contributed to difficulty breathing, and highlighted the superior accuracy of our expert’s methods compared to those of the Claimant’s expert. The WCJ agreed that the defense experts were more credible than the Claimant’s experts, and granted the Termination Petition. John Morgan prepared the brief and proposed findings of fact, the reasoning of which was largely adopted by the Court in its decision.