From No Offer To An Award of Permanent Total Disability
Our client was a 53-year-old Korean immigrant who had almost no formal education and spoke little English. She was employed as a machine operator in a local factory and was injured when she struck her knee against a metal platform.
Although substantial medical care was provided to our client, the treatment for her knee was unsuccessful and she developed additional symptoms in her opposite knee and back from overcompensating due to the injury. Ultimately, our client was unable to return to her job.
In the course of pursuing her Kansas workers’ compensation claim we obtained the opinions of medical and vocational experts who concluded that she was permanently and totally disabled from performing any substantial work activity. Despite this evidence, the employer and insurance carrier denied her claim and failed to make any offer of settlement.
The case was tried and we were successful in obtaining an award of permanent total disability and received the maximum benefits available under the Kansas workers’ compensation laws. In making such award, the judge stated: “If there ever was a claimant who was now realistically unemployable, Ms. K___ is the one.”