An injured meat store manager initially sustained a neck injury a decade ago working for the same employer as a meat cutter. The injured worker continued working for the same employer and the performance of his meat cutting duties on a repetitive basis made his neck symptoms worse to the point where cervical spine surgery was recommended. The injured worker was represented by Jonathan Koutcher, partner at the Philadelphia workers compensation law firm Pearson Koutcher Law. Instead of relying upon the original date of accident, Mr. Koutcher argued that the injured worker’s symptoms were a result of a repetitive stress injury and the injured worker’s accident date should be the date when the claim petition was filed.
In a repetitive stress claim, the maneuvers a worker performs on a daily basis can result in injury. This could be anything from constantly using the hands and wrists to bending and overhead reaching. With a repetitive stress claim, the date of injury is the last day the worker performed the job consisting of duties deemed repetitive in nature. The Judge agreed with this position and the injured worker is now able to undergo neck surgery as recommended by his treating neurosurgeon. Importantly, the injured worker now has a much higher average weekly wage for the issuance of worker’s compensation wage loss when compared to his weekly earnings ten years ago.
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