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The Board of Appeal rejects future medical costs in the case of back injury



A woman who injured her back while providing medical care to people in their homes but continued to run in competitions was denied future medical expenses as part of her workers' compensation claims, according to an appeal judgment issued Tuesday in Nebraska.

Melina Arroyo, while working as a supervisor for Caring for People Services Inc. in early 2018, injured her back as she tried to prevent an overweight patient from falling out of his bed. She described her pain as intense and radiating, saying she felt the same pain while helping other patients on two separate occasions in the following days, according to documents in Melina Arroyo v. Caring for People Services, Inc. . filed in the Nebraska Court of Appeal in Papillion.

She testified that before her injuries she ran 1

50 to 200 km a week and trained for a half marathon of 13.1 km, which she ran in May 2018 despite being treated for back pain. She left her job at Care for People a month after her injury.

For one year, she was evaluated by two doctors, who gave conflicting testimonies about her recovery and ability. Her original treating doctor testified that she may need further treatment in the "foreseeable future", while a doctor employed by Caring for People testified that while she may still experience pain and consider herself 1% reduced, Arroyo "has shown ability to perform and complete tasks without restrictions during the past year and that he would not impose any permanent restrictions on her profession in the future, "according to the case file. Four months after the second evaluation, Arroyo ran a ten-kilometer race.

I At the end of 2019, the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court awarded her benefits based on its finding of a 5% loss of earning capacity and ordered Caring for People to pay medical expenses and mileage incurred by Arroyo. she appealed.

The Court of Appeal, which found that the decision came down to opposition prompt medical testimony, wrote in its decision: “Where the protocol provides nothing but conflicting medical testimony, this court will not substitute its judgment against that of the tort tribunal.

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