An appellate court denied mechanical benefits after holding that he made false statements, even though a judge withdrew after questioning whether the worker understood the deposit procedure.
In Rodriguez v. Nola Motor Club LLC Louisiana Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit held Monday a 4-1 decision to uphold a judge's decision to deny workers compensation to a mechanic.
Ramon Rodriguez worked as a part-time car mechanic. In 2018, when he was 67 years old, he suffered a lower back and left shoulder injury after he pulled a cord to start an engine, which gave a "false explosion" that hit him in the carriage.
He claimed work compensation, but a judge in the Louisiana Office of Workers 'Compensation denied him workers' compensation after discovering that he was making false statements in order to receive benefits. Rodriguez appealed, but the Board of Appeal upheld the judge's decision.
Although Rodriguez testified that his work-related accident caused him anxiety and heart problems and denied that he was ever diagnosed or treated for anxiety or chest or heart-related problems before the accident, medical records revealed that he was diagnosed with anxiety disorder just two months before the accident. he was already taking anxiety medication at the time of the incident. The documents also showed that he had received extensive treatment for chest pain and heart problems after the placement of a stent in his artery in 2007, had had a heart attack and another stent inserted a few years before the accident, and had been admitted to hospital for heart disease three months before the go-kart incident.
Mr. Rodriguez claimed that he did not knowingly make false statements and that his age and difficulty in understanding the issue because he did not speak fluent English led him to believe that these issues were relevant to the injuries he suffered in the accident.
The appellate court found no evidence that Rodriguez intentionally made false statements, but found that he "at least" tried to strengthen his claim for back and shoulder injuries. Therefore, the court upheld the judge's decision and dismissed Rodriguez's claim for benefits.
A judge denied and claimed that he had questions about whether Rodriguez understood that the deposit sought information about his work-related injury and would have picked up the case for further negotiation.