I&F Attorney Michael Bantz* recently won at trial on a case involving a dispute over whether the petitioner had reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). The Petitioner, a maintenance worker in the Streets Department for a central Illinois municipality, suffered an undisputed accident while she was exiting a truck and twisted her left knee. She underwent conservative treatment for the left knee for approximately six months and then attended an Independent Medical Examination (IME) set up by the respondent.
The respondent’s expert medical examiner found the petitioner to be at MMI with no further need for treatment at that time. At the following office visit the petitioner’s treating doctor initially agreed with the IME opinions and discharged the petitioner from care at MMI.
Approximately one year after the IME, the petitioner returned for further treatment, including a new MRI. Respondent denied the relationship of this and any further treatment relying on the IME expert’s opinions and the original opinions of the petitioner’s treating doctor.
The Petitioner believed she still required treatment related to the original claim and sought to proceed to trial. Bantz successfully argued that the Petitioner had already reached MMI, and her return for treatment was unrelated to her work accident.
This conclusion was supported by arguments involving the gap in treatment, the minimal findings from the petitioner’s original MRI and physical examinations, and the benign nature of the original accident. The Arbitrator agreed. Bantz and the I&F team attribute this win to their careful examination of all of the medical evidence and assembling every possible fact and argument to construct a comprehensive picture of the case. Congratulations to Michael for this trial win!
*Bantz was with Inman & Fitzgibbons (I&F) when this trial occurred. He is currently a Partner with IFMK Law.