Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Murphy v. Delaware Transit Corp.

Superior Court of Delaware

February 4, 2019

REGINALD MURPHY, Appellant
v.
DELAWARE TRANSIT CORP., Appellee.

          Date Submitted: December 31, 2018

         Upon Consideration of Appellant's Appeal from the Industrial Accident Board.

          A. Dale Bowers, Esquire, Law Office of A. Dale Bowers, P.A., Attorney for Appellant.

          John J. Klusman, Esquire, Tybout Redfearn & Pell, Attorney for Appellee.

          SCOTT, J.

         Background

         On January 2, 2017, Reginald Murphy sustained an injury to his cervical spine and right shoulder due to a work accident. For this injury, Murphy received total disability benefits based on his average weekly wage at the time of the work accident. On September 5, 2017, Murphy filed a petition with the Industrial Accident Board for additional compensation due alleging he sustained a brachial plexus injury at the time of the accident. Murphy's employer, Delaware Transit Corp., disputes the compensability of this injury and related medical expenses as to causation. On May 14, 2018, The Board denied Murphy's petition. Before the Court is Murphy's appeal from that decision.

         The Board's Finding of Fact

         The Board determined that Murphy failed to meet his burden of proof to support the finding for any compensable brachial plexus injury related to Murphy's January 2017 accident.

         The Board found the opinion of Dr. Tadduni, the Defense medical expert, to be more convincing than that of Murphy's treating chiropractor. The Board agreed with the Defense medical expert that Murphy's subjective complaints did not comport with the objective findings of two clinical examinations. Dr. Tadduni performed two defense medical examinations of Murphy in May and November 2017. Dr. Tadduni found that Murphy's subjective complaints did not comport with the objective findings of the examination. Dr. Tadduni believed that Murphy's injury caused a strain of his bicep at or near the elbow.

         Following his second examination of Murphy, and upon review of an EMG study performed by another doctor, Dr. Tadduni's opinion remained that objective examination results did not support the diagnosis of a brachial plexus injury. Dr. Tadduni opined that EMG studies have a subjective aspect as to how the test is performed, and that standing alone, the results will not be diagnostic of the injury complained.

         The Board determined that the video showing the incident causing injury did not show the type of traumatic, abnormal movement which would typically cause a brachial plexus injury.[1] The Board noted that typical brachial plexus injuries are caused when the head or shoulder go in one direction and the arm in the other direction. The Board noted that the video evidence showed Murphy using his arm after the incident, taking notes, fastening his seatbelt, and dislodging something from the side of the bus.

         The Board did not find the causation opinion of Dr. DiCola to be convincing as to any brachial plexus injury related to the January 2017 accident. The Board also determined Dr. DiCola's testimony to be inconsistent. Dr. DiCola treated Murphy from January 2017 to September 2017 for his work injury. This treatment included 75 visits, treating a cervical disk problem and glenohumeral shoulder compromise. Only after an EMG study several months after treatment began did Dr. DiCola diagnose the brachial plexus injury, opining such an injury could result from any trauma or injury to the lower cervical spine roots. This opinion was inconsistent with the Defense medical expert. The Board noted that Dr. DiCola did not change Murphy's chiropractic treatment after the EMG study, eventually discharging Murphy from his care "for the work injury."[2]

         Additionally, the Board did not find Murphy's own testimony to be wholly reliable to support his claimed brachial plexus injury related to the January 2017 injury. The Board noted Murphy's complaints of worsening pain were based on diffuse and multiple subjective complaints.[3] The Board relied on Murphy's lack of credibility in discounting the testimony of Dr. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.