Submitted: October 30, 2018
Appeal from the Industrial Accident Board
HONORABLE ANDREA L. ROCANELLI JUDGE.
an appeal from the Industrial Accident Board
("IAB"). Upon consideration of the facts,
arguments, and legal authorities set forth by the parties;
statutory and decisional law; and the entire record in this
case, the Court hereby finds as follows:
Claimant-Appellee, Lynette Reid ("Claimant")
sustained an injury to her right shoulder on August 10, 2017,
while working as a bus cleaner for Appellant-Employer, the
State of Delaware/DART ("Employer"). Claimant
sustained the injury when she lifted a trash bag out of a
Following the incident, Claimant was taken to Wilmington
Hospital for tests and X-rays. Claimant was instructed to
follow up with an orthopedist.
August 11, 2017, Claimant sought treatment with Michael
Pushkarewicz, M.D. ("Dr. Pushkarewicz"), an
orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Pushkarewicz placed Claimant on total
disability pending a diagnosis for Claimant's injury. An
MRI on August 24, 2017 revealed tearing in the labrum and
tendon of Claimant's right shoulder. The treatment
recommended by Dr. Pushkarewicz was cortisone injections and
Claimant received an injection in her right shoulder on
September 7, 2017. Dr. Pushkarewicz released Claimant to
light duty work that same day.
After leaving from her appointment with Dr. Pushkarewicz on
September 7, 2017, Claimant was involved in a motor vehicle
accident. As a result of the accident, Claimant experienced
body aches, back aches, and an aggravation of her right
shoulder injury. Dr. Pushkarewicz's treatment
recommendations for Claimant's work-related injury did
not change after the accident. Due to the motor vehicle
accident, Claimant did not return to work until November 25,
Claimant received a second cortisone injection on January 8,
September 28, 2017, Claimant filed a Petition to Determine
Compensation Due ("Petition") with the IAB, seeking
acknowledgement of the accident and injury, medical expenses,
and a closed period oftotal disability benefits from August
11, 2017 through September 7, 2017.
Employer disputes that an accident or injury occurred at the
workplace on August 10, 2017.
hearing was held on Claimant's Petition on February 1,
2018 ("Hearing"). During the Hearing, the IAB
considered the testimony of(1) Claimant; (2) Claimant's
expert, Dr. Pushkarewicz; and (3) Employer's expert,
Gregory Tadduni, M.D. ("Dr. Tadduni"), an
orthopedic surgeon who evaluated Claimant on December 7, 2017
at Employer's request. The IAB also considered video
surveillance footage from Employer's facility taken on
August 10, 2017.
Claimant's expert, Dr. Pushkarewicz, opined that Claimant
sustained an injury as a result of the August 10, 2017 work
incident. Claimant reported to Dr. Pushkarewicz that she was
in immediate pain and Dr. Pushkarewicz considers this to be
strong evidence of an injury. Dr. Pushkarewicz testified that
the tears shown on Claimant's August 24, 2017 MRI are
normally degenerative, caused by "falling on your
outstretched arm," or by "trying to lift something
which is too heavy." Although Claimant's prior
medical records revealed a history of neck pain across
Claimant's shoulder blades, in Dr. Pushkarewicz's
opinion, these references are symptoms emanating from a
cervical spine condition. Claimant had never been diagnosed
with a shoulder joint condition before August 10, 2017. Dr.
Pushkarewicz opined ...