Lear Werts obtained permanent total disability benefits from the Missouri Second Injury Fund for a worker who received multiple injuries from the heavy factory work he performed.
Our client was a long-time employee of a mid-Missouri factory. He worked as a machinist working with heavy metal parts. Over the course of a workday, the worker was required to lift hundreds of metal parts that weighed anywhere from 20- to 50-pounds. Additionally he was frequently called upon to move heavy equipment around the factory floor. During the course of his employment, our client suffered a number of injuries including a torn rotator cuff and significant sprain to the muscles in his neck. Following a relatively successful repair of his right shoulder rotator cuff, our client also developed a tear in his left shoulder’s rotator cuff, likely from overcompensating for the injury to the right shoulder. Additionally, as our client tried to return to work, he developed significant narrowing of the vertebral disc spaces in his lower-back which resulted in further injury.
While the employer accepted responsibility for certain of our client’s multiple injuries, the employer and its insurance carrier disputed that our client’s work caused all of the injuries and further disputed their disabling impact . Nevertheless, we were ultimately able to work out agreeable settlements between our client and the insurance company for each of his claimed work injuries. Following that settlement, we continued to represent our client against the Missouri Second Injury Fund. Following additional workup, we received a fully favorable ruling from a Workers’ Compensation Administrative Law Judge at trial. The Fund appealed that award to the Missouri Labor and Industrial Relations Commission but we successfully defended the ALJ’s award of permanent total disability benefits. In the end, our client was able to receive the PTD benefits he deserved, including back pay going back to the last day he was able to work.