The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld rulings from State Workers & # 39; Compensation Board of Review and Office of Judges that an employee suspected back injury was not compensable.
James Ramey, a machine operator at Steel of West Virginia Inc., claimed to have injured his lower back at work on June 19, 2017, but inconsistently described how the injury occurred in several reports after the incident. Furthermore, the judge's office noted that the injury date was important because a collective agreement between the union and the employer expired the following day, according to documents from James Ramey v. SWVA, Inc., filed with the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia in Charleston.
Mr. Ramey sought treatment on the day of the alleged incident for "an acute back injury that occurred while lifting a heavy object at work," the documents say. However, a discharge report states that Ramey said he injured his back while bending over to pick up pieces of metal.
Later reports and testimonies from Ramey document further inconsistencies in his account of the injury and medical condition, some of which were not entered in the record, the documents state.
The judge's office found that the only diagnostic testing of the record was scans taken on the date of injury, which showed degenerative changes and no acute findings.
The Office confirmed the Claims Administrator's decision, referring to, “The inconsistencies in the injury mechanism, the exaggeration of CT scan findings and the absence of care after ratification of the trade union agreement, […] indicate a lack of credible evidence justifying the rejection. of the statement .
The Review Board upheld the Office's judgment in May 2020, which was upheld this week by the Supreme Court.