Work injuries take many shapes and forms, from relatively minor conditions that heal over time to life-altering conditions that leave the victim with permanent disabilities and physical pain. In a workers’ compensation claim, part of the determination regarding the amount of benefits you are entitled to receive involves assessing your ability to work and determining whether there are any types of work that are suitable for you in light of your new conditions. As experienced Boston work injury lawyers, we have assisted countless workers with ensuring that they receive the outcome that they deserve in a workers’ compensation claim.
Recently, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals considered a claim where the insurer appealed an order awarding an injured worker benefits. The woman suffered injuries when she was attacked by a patient while working at a mental healthcare facility. The reviewing judge concluded that the attack resulted in a total and permanent disability for the woman and that she was not able to perform sedentary work of any kind. The insurer appealed this conclusion on the basis that the judge had a personal bias against a certain field of work that the insurer suggested the injured woman might be able to perform: telemarketing.
The appellate court reviewed the trial record to identify the allegedly biased statements that the judge made. Based on its review, the judge stated that telemarketing jobs were not a type of sedentary work that he traditionally considered when making a determination regarding an award of benefits because telemarketers were required to act in an obnoxious way at times. The only instance in which the judge indicated that he would consider a telemarketer job when determining an injured worker’s work capacity was if the injured worker had already performed work as a telemarketer.