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Tedesco v. Bayhealth Medical Center

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

March 13, 2015

MICHAEL TEDESCO, Appellant,
v.
BAYHEALTH MEDICAL CENTER, Appellee.

Submitted: February 4, 2015

Upon Consideration of Appellant's Appeal from the Industrial Accident Board AFFIRMED IN PART and REMANDED IN PART

Christopher A. Amalfitano, Esquire, Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A., Wilmington, Delaware for Appellant.

Keri L. Morris-Johnston, Esquire, Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, Wilmington, Delaware for Appellee.

Robert B. Young, J.

SUMMARY

The Industrial Accident Board ("The Board") ruled against Michael Tedesco ("Appellant"), holding that his current need for medical treatment with respect to his left knee, did not arise from a fall he sustained while on his employer Bayhealth Health Medical Center, Inc.'s ("Appellee") premises. Thus, the Board denied Appellant's Petition to Determine Additional Compensation Due. Appellant further alleges that the Board denied his request for attorney's fees, stemming from a purportedly consolidated matter. The Board's decision makes no mention of this request or its denial.

This Court is to reverse the ruling of the Board only if that decision was not based in substantial evidence, or was the result of legal error. Finding neither to be true, the Court AFFIRMS this aspect of the Board's decision.

With regard to the issue concerning Appellant's request for attorney's fees, this appears not to have been decided by the Board. Accordingly, the Court REMANDS, with instruction to the Board to address and clarify its findings on this subject.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL POSTURE

The factual circumstances underlying the present appeal are numerous, and detail many unfortunate happenings in the life of Appellant. On January 19, 2009, Appellant, at the time employed as a surgical nurse by Appellee, slipped while on duty, allegedly twisting his knee. On January 22, 2009, his supervisor sent him to be examined at Appellee's Employee Health Center, where it was determined he had suffered a collateral ligament strain. Appellant returned on January 29, 2009, and reported that there had been an 80% resolution of, at least, part of his condition.

Appellant was then treated by Dr. Rowe, whose diagnosis, as of January 2009, was left knee patella femoral syndrome. He ordered an MRI which found "linear meniscal degeneration or nondisplaced horizontal tear of the posterior medial meniscus."[1] However, Dr. Rowe did not believe that Appellant's condition required surgery. Appellant was instead given a regimen of physical the rapy, chiropractic care, and medication.

On July 27, 2009, Appellant was examined by Dr. Elliot Leitman ("Dr. Leitman"), an orthopaedic surgeon, at the request of Appellee. Dr. Leitman is also Appel lee's expert in this case. After his examination of Appellant, and a review of Dr. Rowe's records, including the MRI, Dr. Leitman concluded that surgery was not needed. Although the MRI showed a tear, according to Dr. Leitman, the pain Appellant complained of was not in the location of the tear. Dr. Leitman further diagnosed Appellant as having a left knee sprain.

After ceasing treatment with Dr. Rowe in 2009, Appellant did not seek treatment again until 2013. During this four year gap, Appellant sustained an additional slip and fall accident at work, in February 2010. This was soon followed by a car accident in October 2010. The final event in this series of misfortunes, occurred in September 2013, when Appellant sustained yet another slip and fall at an amusement park. This last incident prompted Appellant to seek medical care, in November 2013. Appellant was ...


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