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Worcester Workers' Compensation Case Results

Client, a 36-year-old Worcester resident and former factory worker, sustained an injury to her low back after lifting a 60 lbs. bucket of oil. She went out of work and underwent back surgery. The workers' comp. insurer terminated her benefits and attorney Reno filed a claim at the Department of Industrial Accidents on her behalf. The employee prevailed at the pre-hearing conference and the insurer appealed to a de novo hearing. The employee prevailed at that stage as well. Several years later, the insurer filed a claim to modify the employee's benefits, arguing that she had an earning capacity. Attorney Reno defended that claim and also brought and joined a claim for permanent and total disability benefits under c. 152 § 34A. In addition, attorney Reno brought a claim to join an emotional injury to the employee's already accepted physical injury claim.
Result: After a hearing, the employee prevailed on all counts. Not only was the insurer not allowed to modify her benefits, but she was awarded permanent and total disability benefits at a higher rate than her total disability benefits.

The insurer appealed that decision to the Reviewing Board of the Department of Industrial Accidents.
Result: After briefs were filed with that court, the employee again prevailed, and the lower court's decision was upheld.

Client, a 57-year-old former mason, sustained injuries after falling 30 feet from scaffolding in Grafton. He was unable to work and needed extensive medical attention. The insurer paid the employee total disability benefits. When his total disability benefits exhausted, attorney Reno brought a claim with the Department of Industrial Accidents for permanent and total disability benefits. To substantiate that claim, attorney Reno obtained medical records from various providers and arranged for expert medical opinions regarding the employee's injuries and disability.
Result: The case was settled for $250,000.00.

Client, a 45-year-old machinist, sustained an injury to his low back after loading a 175 lbs. steel bar into a machine in Holden. The client went out of work. The workers' compensation insurer moved to discontinue the client's benefits after several months. The client developed depression as a result of his pain and being out of work. Attorney Reno brought a claim for emotional injuries and joined it to the insurer's claim to discontinue. After a hearing at the Department of Industrial Accidents in which live testimony was taken, the judge wrote a decision that enabled the employee to continue to receive benefits for both his back injury and his depression. The insurer appealed the judge's decision to the Workers' Compensation Reviewing Board and the Appeals Court. Attorney Reno submitted briefs in support of his client's position at both stages and his position was upheld. After the employee had received the maximum years of total disability benefits under §34, attorney Reno filed a claim for permanent and total disability benefits under §34A. After a conference at the Department of Industrial Accidents, those benefits were awarded.
Result: The case was eventually settled for a value that reflected permanent and total disability, 600,000.00.

Client, a 35-year-old cook, sustained injuries to his major hand after it was crushed in an industrial size mixer in Worcester. He went out of work. Attorney Reno brought a claim on his behalf and after a conference at the Department of Industrial Accidents he was awarded benefits for his lost wages and his permanent loss of function and disfigurement. He also brought a lawsuit against the third-party company that manufactured the mixer and secured a settlement from that company as well.
Result: Client was awarded benefits from the workers' compensation insurer for his lost wages and his permanent loss of function and disfigurement and a lump-sum settlement. Also, client secured a settlement from the third-party company, which manufactured the mixer that caused his injuries.

Client, a 26-year-old pipe fitter, sustained injuries to his head and neck after a bundle of pipes were dropped on his head in New Bedford. Client went out of work, and the insurer commenced workers' compensation benefits. The insurer eventually brought a claim to terminate those benefits. Attorney Reno defended that claim and also brought a claim for double compensation under §28, alleging that the employer engaged in willful misconduct.
Result: The insurer agreed to settle the case by lump sum for a value that reflected ongoing lost wages and damages under §28.

Client, a 24-year-old parking lot attendant, sustained injuries to her neck and back after being assaulted and having her money stolen in a parking lot in Boston. As a result of the assault, client suffered emotional injuries in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder as well as physical injuries. Attorney Reno brought a claim with the Department of Industrial Accidents alleging both physical and emotional injuries. After a conference, the client was awarded lost wage benefits. Attorney Reno also brought a claim for Social Security Disability benefits.
Result: The client received a lump-sum settlement of her workers' compensation benefits and was awarded Social Security Disability benefits.

Client, a 69-year-old delivery worker, sustained injuries to her ankle after a dog jumped up on her and caused her to fall off a porch in Worcester. Attorney Reno brought a claim for lost wages and loss of function of her ankle. Attorney Reno also brought a claim against the owner of the dog.
Result: Client received a settlement on her workers' compensation case and her third-party case.