Michael W. Cardamone, known by the trademark MyPhilly WorkersComp Attorney, of The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC has secured a significant victory for his client in a case involving Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
Cardamone filed a Petition to Review to expand the accepted diagnoses on the Notice of Compensation Payable (“NCP”) which listed his client’s injuries as several fractures, dislocation of the right arm and wrist, and a concussion. The Notice of Compensation Payable in a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation case is a key, controlling document until otherwise amended. Cardamone sought to expand the NCP by adding Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (“RSD/CRPS”) of the right upper extremity. Defendant/Insurer would not agree to this notwithstanding the significant complex of symptoms exhibited by Claimant.
By way of brief summary, Claimant sustained a serious injury on September 6, 2011 while working as an engineer for the Employer, when he fell off a ladder, landing with his right arm wedged between the wall and the floor. He suffered excruciating pain and blacked out. He was admitted to Hahnemann Hospital where he had surgery and was admitted for one week before starting outpatient rehab. He started to have tremors in the affected arm and was re-hospitalized and referred to a neurologist. He had another surgery, to his wrist, in November 2012 due to extensive pain and tremors. He has continued to treat and has unrelenting symptoms including constant, heavy pain, feelings of hotness, needles, and tremors. Claimant’s symptoms are so severe that he cannot eat using his right arm and cannot even cut meat.
Litigation ensued and lasted 14 months. Cardamone presented his client’s testimony which the Workers’ Compensation Judge deemed credible. Cardamone also presented the deposition testimony of Claimant’s treating physician, a board-certified neurologist, who had examined Claimant on multiple occasions. The insurance company’s counsel presented the deposition of the Independent Medical Examiner (we know they aren’t independent, but hand-picked by the insurer), a board- certified neurologist, who claimed there were no clinical findings to support a diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/RSD. Instead, he alleged the injury was a neuropathic pain process affecting the right hand secondary to the internal injuries.
However, on cross examination, Attorney Cardamone exposed numerous deficiencies in the medical expert’s examination and opinions. Cardamone revealed that the physician failed to ask Claimant whether he had swelling of the affected limb, whether he asked Claimant if he noticed any unusual sweat patterns, whether Claimant noticed any temperature changes in the limb, and what type of pain levels he was experiencing. These are all important hallmarks of RSD/CRPS. Moreover, Cardamone elicited testimony from the physician revealing that the medical expert for the insurer had not reviewed any of the medical records for treatment after his examination in April 2012, nor had he reviewed Claimant’s testimony or that of Claimant’s medical expert.
The Workers’ Compensation Judge issued a 16 page Decision summarizing the facts, the law, and why Cardamone had met his burden of proof in demonstrating that the Notice of Compensation Payable should be amended to include Complex Regional Pain Syndrome of the right upper extremity. In addition, litigation costs were awarded.
As a result of the Decision from the Workers’ Compensation Judge, Cardamone’s client can now receive the treatment he needs to help with his incapacitating pain without having to worry about the financial stress.
If you need assistance with a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation case, call Certified Work Comp Specialist, Michael W. Cardamone at (215) 206-9068 or email him directly at MyPhillyWorkersComp@Gmail.com 7 days a week for a free consult. Representing injured workers is 100% of his practice and he is helping injured workers across the State of Pennsylvania.