Injured worker XD was employed by Comcast Corporation for over 20 years as a maintenance technician in Pennsylvania. This position required the injured worker to utilize ladders, bucket trucks or pole steps, along with heavy lifting, consistent standing, putting weight on his knees, and kneeling. Due to the repetitive nature of his work, in 2008 XD began having right knee problems. Over time, these right knee problems worsened, and the injured worker began having difficulty at work walking, carrying items, putting weight on his knees and climbing ladders. In 2010, the injured worker began experiencing left knee problems. At this time, he reported the work injury to his supervisor. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier is Liberty Mutual.
The injured worker hired Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C., and we filed a Claim Petition for a bilateral knee condition caused by daily repetitive stress to his knees.
In support of his Petitions, the injured worker presented the testimony of his treating physician, Dr. David Baker. The Judge believed Dr. Baker that the injured workers’ job duties played a role in the development of his bilateral knee arthritis. Dr. Baker felt that the job was a substantial contributing factor and a risk factor to the development of XD’s knee arthritis. Dr. Baker also pointed to a Framingham Harvard Study that certain occupational exposures are risk factors for knee arthritis, such as people who work on their knees while lifting. Defendant Liberty Mutual presented the testimony of Dr. Scott King that the injured workers’ knee condition was not caused by work, which the Judge did not believe.
The Judge granted the injured workers’ Claim Petition for the February 9, 2013 work injury. The Judge found that the injured workers’ bilateral knee condition and need for knee replacements was caused by work as of February 9, 2013. The Judge determined that no wage loss benefits were payable as the injured worker did not miss work due to the work injury to the knees, but did order Defendant Liberty Mutual to pay medical bills, and costs of litigation.