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School worker injuries related to pre-existing conditions



The Supreme Court of Alaska ruled on Friday that the injuries of an injured school worker were related to a pre-existing condition and not the result of lifting a disabled student.

In December 2018, Beverly Sumpter, a school assistant at Fairbank's North Star Borough School District, reported an injury to her cervical spine after lifting a four-legged student weighing approximately 70 kilograms. Sumpter reported neck pain after she "kicked" the child in her wheelchair, "lifted him a little", and later complained of headaches and other injuries, according to documents from Sumpter v Fairbank's North Star Borough School District filed in Anchorage.

Ms. Sumpter had a documented history of existing problems with the cervix in his back back to 2007. Medical evaluations were performed by three doctors who testified in the case and outlined inconsistencies between medical records and testimony. When reviewing Sumpter's records, doctors disagreed as to whether the event she described could have exacerbated these problems and, if so, for how long.

The consensus among all three physicians questioned Mrs Sumpter's claims and testified that "any work injury was a sprain or strain and should have resolved quickly" and that Mrs Sumpter's "current need for treatment" was caused by her pre-existing degenerative disc disease. This testimony led to the decision of the Alaska Workers' Compensation Board that Mrs. Sumpter's work with the district was not the main cause of her disability or need for medical treatment. The Alaska Workers & # 39; Compensation Appeals Commission later confirmed these grounds.

By denying her appeal that both the Board and the Commission applied incorrect legal standards and that the Board had failed to reach conclusions on substantive and contentious issues, the Supreme Court of Alaska upheld the previous judgments, citing inconsistencies in her account of the damage and that " "(W) whether Sumpter's headache originated in the cervical area was irrelevant to the question of causation because nothing in the views expressed by the board linked the headache to relocating the pupil." Catalog

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