A former school cafeteria worker failed to show that her employer must continue to pay for joint injections in the back despite their limited approval for use under state compensation parameters.
In Leuthard v. Independent School District 912 -Milaca Minnesota The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued an appeal after finding that the court erred in finding that the worker's injury constituted a "rare exception" to enable deviation from treatment guidelines. as a school canteen. After a year of employment, she began to feel pain in her neck and reported difficulty seeing upwards. A doctor found that the repeated stress of her job had created an injury to her upper neck and spine, and over the next four years she underwent various diagnostic tests and tried several treatments for her injury.
In July 2008, after other treatments failed to provide relief, she began receiving quarterly phase injections in her back for the next eight years and continued to take painkillers. , and concluded that the joint injections were not intended for long-term use under treatment parameters for government workers, which indicated reasonable medical treatment for compensable work-related injuries. As a result, future reimbursement for the injections was denied.
Ms. Leuthard requested a hearing and argued that the injections were reasonable and necessary, but a workers' compensation judge rejected her request, arguing that the injections did not provide lasting relief and were a departure from the applicable treatment parameters.
She appealed to the workers' compensation court, which overturned the judge's decision in a 2-1
The Court quashed the decision of the appeal, arguing that Mrs Leuthard's ongoing facet joint injections did not comply with the treatment parameters and that there was no evidence to support a departure from these parameters.
The court found that Leuthard's relief from the injections was "variable" and her medical records "showed a lack of progressive, objective, clinical improvement over several years of injections." The court also rejected the view that her case was rare and noted that she did not take up the "rare case exemption" before the employee compensation judge and therefore could not do so on appeal.
As a result, the court reversed the appellate court's decision and reinstated the replacement judge's decision.