When you suffer an injury on the job, sometimes the damage is so severe that you are unable to resume your normal occupational duties. Part of the claims process involves examining your work capacity and determining the types of work that you would be capable of performing. This can be a critical step in the claim, especially if your injuries are so severe that returning to any type of work is out of the question. Our dedicated team of Boston work injury lawyers has assisted countless injured workers with ensuring that they are treated fairly during the benefit claims process.
Recently, a Massachusetts appellate court considered an appeal in which the insurer challenged an award of benefits to an employee who was attacked by a patient while working as a mental health worker. The woman underwent an independent medical examination as part of the claim review and the judge concluded that the attack was totally and permanently disabling to the point of preventing the employee from performing even sedentary jobs. According to the employer, the court rejected its vocational expert’s opinion that the employee could work as a telemarketer based on the judge’s alleged personal bias against the telemarketing industry.
According to the trial record, the judge stated that telemarketing jobs required employees to be aggressive and even obnoxious at times and that it was a difficult job. He stated that it was his policy to not consider telemarketing jobs when performing an occupational capacity assessment unless the person was a telemarketer to begin with. The employer did not object to the judge’s statements at the time they were made and raised the issue for the first time on appeal.