Posts Tagged ‘workers’ compensation’

Arnold & Placek Wins Death Benefits Case on Summary Judgment, Appeal

Written by A&P News on November 7th, 2017. Posted in Appeals, Judicial Review, News

After the foreman for a San Angelo electrical contractor was killed in an auto accident on his way to work, his widow sought workers’ compensation death benefits from Texas Mutual Insurance Company. Texas Mutual disputed the claim and prevailed at the Division of Workers’ Compensation. His widow appealed the decision to the District Court of Sutton County where Texas Mutual was represented by Arnold & Placek, P.C. After discovery was completed, Matthew Foerster successfully obtained a summary judgment (and defeated the widow’s cross-motion) determining that the foreman was not in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. The widow then appealed again to the San Antonio Court of Appeals. On November 1, 2017, the San Antonio Court of Appeals issued a memorandum opinion affirming the summary judgment in favor of Texas Mutual. Throughout the judicial review and appellate process, Texas Mutual was represented by Scott Placek and Matthew Foerster.

Arnold & Placek, P.C. Obtains Judgment that Impairment Benefits Cannot be Awarded for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Written by A&P News on April 11th, 2011. Posted in Judicial Review

274th District Court, Comal County

Arnold & Placek, P.C. today obtained a complete summary judgment on Texas Mutual’s appeal from an adverse decision of the Division of Workers’ Compensation in this judicial review action.  The claimant filed for workers’ compensation after witnessing the aftermath of a break in at the animal shelter where she was employed.  Texas Mutual accepted the claim and the claimant was eventually diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”). A designated doctor gave her a 35% whole person impairment rating based solely on her PTSD. The DWC upheld the designated doctor’s determination.

On appeal to the district court, Arnold & Placek filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of Texas Mutual, arguing that it was impermissible for the DWC to award any impairment rating for PTSD.  The court agreed and, in granting a full judgment for Texas Mutual, held that a claimant’s impairment rating, by statute, must be based on the American Medical Association’s guidelines, and those guidelines specifically state that it is not possible to assign an impairment rating for mental disorders such as PTSD.  Thus, the Court held that her impairment rating was 0%, as found by a second doctor that had evaluated the claimant.  Kyle Jones argued and obtained the summary judgment for Texas Mutual.

Dallas County Jury Returns Unanimous Carrier Verdict in LIBS Case

Written by A&P News on June 20th, 2010. Posted in Judicial Review, Trial

14th District Court for Dallas County, Texas

Arnold & Placek, P.C. obtained a unanimous jury verdict for Texas Mutual Insurance Company, overturning the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s award of Lifetime Income Benefits to Javier Esparza.  Mr. Esparza, who was one of two survivors of a 10 fatality auto accident, suffered the amputation of one leg and an injury to his right arm.  The DWC found that Esparza had total loss of use of the right arm, and awarded lifetime income benefits – an estimated future expense of over $1,000,000.  Based on the medical evidence and surveillance video, Arnold & Placek was able to establish that, in fact, Esparza had sufficient use of his right arm that he could get and keep employment requiring the use of the arm.  Scott Placek and Kyle Jones represented Texas Mutual at trial.  Javier Esparza was represented by Randell Johnson.  Judge Eric Moyé presided over the trial.