On April 15, 2013 a WCJ issued a Decision denying and dismissing a Claim Petition. Claimant was a custodian for a Bucks County school district in August 2012 when he claimed that he had tripped and fallen on a cracked sidewalk block while retuning from painting the turnstiles at the high school football stadium. Claimant alleged that he fell to the ground causing significant injury to his right knee, right arm, right rotator cuff and low back. Mr. Frattone presented four fact witnesses and numerous documents to refute the claim. The evidence revealed that Claimant sustained his alleged injuries approximately a month after returning to work from a 14 month suspension without pay due to a prior falsification of timecards. The alleged injuries occurred on the first day Claimant had worked on his own following the return to work. Prior to that date, he had always worked as part of a custodial team. Through use of photographs, Mr. Frattone proved to the Court that the injury could not have happened as Claimant had described because the physical evidence contradicted Claimant’s version of events. Mr. Frattone also presented fact witness testimony and documentary evidence that the alleged fall occurred just one day after Claimant was placed on notice that he was to be suspended, yet again, for insubordination. Claimant had denied any such disciplinary problems. Although Claimant denied any employment subsequent to the alleged fall, Mr. Frattone presented evidence that Claimant had his own landscaping business and had actively performed work even after the fall that allegedly left him disabled.
After reviewing the entire evidentiary record, the WCJ accepted Mr. Frattone’s arguments and found that Claimant did not sustain any work-related injuries from an accidental fall. The judge found Claimant lacking in credibility in light of the numerous witnesses and documents that refuted his allegations. Furthermore, the WCJ found that Claimant’s medical evidence was insufficient to establish a causal connection between Claimant’s work and his injuries. As a result, the WCJ concluded that Claimant failed to meet his burden of proof and dismissed the Claim Petition. This is a significant Decision for the Employer since it provides an annual cost savings of more than $23,000.00 in wage loss benefits as well as unknown amounts of medical benefits.