Submitted: January 15, 2014.
Upon Appeal from the Industrial Accident Board.
Andrew J. Carmine, Esquire.
Mary Lou Fieni, Appellant/Claimant.
Fred S. Silverman, Judge.
Despite how this appeal appears superficially, it boils-down to the relatively common case where the Board has accepted one medical expert's testimony over another's. Basically, the Industrial Accident Board denied additional benefits because it accepted Employer's medical expert's opinion about Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
The parties have always agreed that Ms. Fieni was a dedicated employee who suffered a work injury in April 2007, when she slipped and fell on a waxed floor, injuring her right leg, her lower back, and other body parts. Although Employer knew that Ms. Fieni had prior-existing injuries, Employer did not contest eligibility, and it paid for Ms. Fieni's treatment and other benefits.
In March 2011, Ms. Fieni was seen by Steven D. Grossinger, D.O., a pain management doctor, who diagnosed her with CRPS, which he attributed to her 2007 slip-and-fall. Based on that, through counsel, Ms. Fieni filed a Petition to Determine Additional Compensation Due.
A hearing officer and two Board members held an administrative hearing on April 5, 2013. Again, at that point Ms. Fieni was represented by counsel. The Board issued its decision denying additional compensation on June 14, 2013. Ms. Fieni, now pro se, filed a timely appeal.
In his opening statement, Ms. Fieni's counsel began:
Ms. Fieni was injured back in 2007. She slipped and fell on a waxed floor and injured her right leg, lower back and some other body parts. We're, essentially, fighting about a condition called Complex Regional ...