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Worker's knee injury while hanging Christmas lights can be compensated



Exxon Mobil Corp. must cover the costs of a worker who injured his knee while hanging Christmas lights in his home, a Louisiana Appeals Board ruled Wednesday.

Earl Alphonso V injured his left knee in a work accident in 2015 and underwent surgery to repair a displaced patella and several torn tendons, according to documents in Earl Alphonso V, v. Exxon Mobil, Exxon Mobil Risk Management, Inc., filed in the Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, New Orleans.

He underwent a second operation in 2016 and "continued to complain of pain and instability in his left knee", according to court documents.

At the end of 2017, Alphonso reportedly reported ̵

1; injured his left knee at home while hanging Christmas lights when he stepped off a ladder and felt a snap in his knee, "it says in the documents. His doctor then diagnosed Alphonso with "suspected aggravation of the injuries he received in his … 2015 work accident." In 2018, he underwent a "total reconstruction" operation to repair remaining problems.

That same year, Alphonso filed a disputed claim for compensation against Exxon. A trial court ruled in his favor and found that the 2017 injury was "a development of his original … 2015 work accident." The ruling said the latter injury "was foreseeable" and occurred "as a result" of his workplace injury.

The trial court found that Alphonso was disabled and awarded him eight weeks' benefits after his 2018 operation. It also awarded him ongoing reasonable and necessary medical treatment for the injuries he received in 2017.

The trial court ordered Exxon to pay $ 6,000 for failure to approve medical treatment, failure to pay medical expenses and failure to pay damages. It also awarded Alphonso attorneys fees of $ 7,500, among other awards.

Exxon argued on appeal that the lower court erred in linking the two damages "because the first damage had healed a long time ago and the new damage was due to an intermediate accident not caused by Alphonso's propensity to re-damage."

I confirming the decision of the Court of Appeal, the Board of Appeal wrote that "medical evidence supports the view that Alphonso's most recent injury was related to his original work injury." 2016.

The court also reduced to $ 3,710 the money that Exxon owed to Alphonso.

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