WORKERS COMP CASE: The employee suffered a repetitive injury to his shoulder when he was at work using a heavy grinder for a few hours. Work comp insurance admitted the claim and initially paid, but when it came time for surgery, they hired an "independent" Dr. to see if he needed it. The work comp Dr. then said that while the employee did need the surgery, it was not from the grinding at work. Rather, the work comp Dr. said it was from a "pre-existing condition" because the employee had undergone 3 shots and an MRI to the same shoulder a year before the grinding at work. Norbert Cuellar went to work comp court for the employee and recently won the surgery in court. Work comp must now pay all the bills related to the surgery, the surgical aftercare, and his wage loss while he is off work from the surgery.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Just because you may have pre-existing treatment to a body part does not mean that you can never claim an injury to that body part. In Minnesota work comp, if your work activity aggravates or worsens a previous injury, you may have the right to have work comp insurance pay for your treatment and wage loss.