Lucas J. Csovelak
Resolved a complex, high-exposure lumbar spine injury requiring multiple surgeries in an expeditious manner resulting in minimal litigation costs and a prompt stoppage of ongoing payments of indemnity and medical benefits. In doing so, it protected a subrogation lien valued at over $400,000.00, which the client recently fully recovered.
Successfully defended an employer in a matter where the employee was a paid firefighter and sustained an alleged work injury to his knee while running on an off premises track. Although the firefighter claimed that his position necessitated physical fitness, his superiors testified that no physical requirements were placed on firefighters and the employer did not conduct fitness testing. The employer argued the firefighter was outside the course and scope of his employment when he injured his knee. In his brief, the firefighter cited a case discussing a police officer who was granted benefits as a result of an injury that occurred when he was running off duty. The employer cited the same case, providing in depth analysis which distinguished the rule established by the Court. The employer highlighted the fact that the Court granted benefits in the police officer’s case because the police department mandated physical fitness requirements and exercise furthered the interests of the police department. In the firefighter’s case, physical fitness requirements were not mandated. The Workers’ Compensation Judge agreed with the employer’s argument and denied workers’ compensation benefits.
Received a favorable decision in a utilization review where the employer filed a review addressing the employee's opioid prescriptions and the provider under review failed to offer medical records to the utilization review organization. The review organization found that the treatment was not reasonable and necessary. The employee filed a petition to review the utilization review determination alleging that the organization did not make adequate efforts to obtain the medical records in question. Based on testimony of a representative of the review organization, the Workers' Compensation Judge found the opioid prescriptions were not reasonable and necessary because the provider failed to present medical records. The employer was not required to pay for any additional treatment.
Obtained a favorable decision, wherein the WCJ reaffirmed that the employee was an independent contractor. Because the alleged employer did not carry workers’ compensation insurance, the UEGF would have been liable for the employee’s injuries. This case was originally won before the WCJ and appealed to the WCAB. The WCAB remanded the case to the WCJ to decide on the issue of “control.”