After working for the bank as a mortgage loan officer for many years, Henry Collins (name changed to protect privacy), at age 56 started to develop numbness and tingling in his hands. He worked with his hands with various key boards (repetitive typing on computers, calculators, etc) and did a lot of handwriting. When he started missing work, the workers’ compensation insurance company, National City Mortgage, denied his entitlement to wage loss benefits. We filed a Claim Petition and in a few months Judge Paul Baker issued a decision putting Mr. Collins on compensation as of February 11, 2009. A right sided carpal tunnel release was done in February 2009 and soon thereafter a left sided carpel tunnel release wad done. In December 2009 there was a surgical repair for trigger fingers. In early 2010, a second carpel tunnel surgery was performed on his left hand. In late 2010, the defense attorney invited us to a meditation settlement conference. We accepted under the condition that the adjuster be present. The defense attorney said the adjuster would only be present by phone. We responded we would not be attending the mediation without her presence. The mediating Judge sent a correspondence requiring the injured worker to be present but not the adjuster. We responded that being on workers’ compensation does not make one a second class citizen and we would not be attending without the adjuster being present. Weeks went by without hearing anything until the day before the scheduled mediation when Ron was informed by the defense attorney that the adjuster was flying out for the February 18, 2011 mediation. The mediation lasted at least four (4) hours and the mediator was one of the best workers’ compensation mediators I have ever had the pleasure of appearing before. The adjuster being present was instrumental in obtaining the $237,000.00 lump sum settlement agreement reached that day. Over $125,000.00 in weekly wage loss checks were paid prior to the mediation. Later that year, we represented Henry at his Social Security hearing before the Social Security Administrative Law Judge and received a swift decision awarding him over $70,000.00 in past due S.S.D. benefits and monthly benefits into the future in excess of $2,000.00 per month.
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