Aegerter v. Fairway Foods, Inc., 020822 MNWC, WC21-6426

Docket NºWC21-6426
Case DateFebruary 08, 2022
THOMAS AEGERTER, Employee/Petitioner,
BROADSPIRE, Employer-Insurer/Respondents.
No. WC21-6426
Minnesota Workers Compensation
Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals
February 8, 2022
         VACATION OF AWARD – SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE IN CONDITION. The employee established cause to vacate the award on stipulation where his circumstances satisfied all the factors set out in Fodness v. Standard Café, 41 W.C.D. 1054 (W.C.C.A. 1989), and where the change in his medical condition was not and could not reasonably have been anticipated at the time of settlement.          Determined by:          1. David A. Stofferahn, Judge          2. Deborah K. Sundquist, Judge          3. Sean M. Quinn, Judge          Attorneys: Jerry W. Sisk, Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law, Coon Rapids, Minnesota, for the Petitioner. Kent B. Gravelle, McCollum Crowley, P.A., Bloomington, Minnesota, for the Respondents.          Petition granted.          OPINION           DAVID A. STOFFERAHN, Judge          The employee has petitioned this court to vacate an Award on Stipulation served and filed July 8, 1999. Finding that the employee has established cause pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 176.461, we grant the petition and vacate the award.          BACKGROUND Procedural Background          Thomas Aegerter was working at Fairway Foods when he sustained an injury to his low back on March 23, 1992. The employer and its insurer admitted liability and paid benefits to the employee, including $10,500 for a 14 percent whole body impairment. While still employed at Fairway, the employee had an injury to his neck and upper back on July 7, 1996. Benefits were paid for that injury as well. In 1999, the employee, who was not represented by an attorney, settled all claims arising out of the 1992 and 1996 injuries, with the exception of medical expenses, on a full, final, and complete basis for a payment of $58,000. An Award on Stipulation was served and filed July 8, 1999.          The employee began working for UPS in August 1999. He continued to treat for ongoing low back and upper back complaints. The employee filed a claim against Fairway for those expenses. Fairway moved to add UPS to the claim, alleging that the employee had sustained Gillette injuries as the result of his employment there and that UPS was liable for the claimed medical expenses. After a hearing in April 2014, the compensation judge determined there had been no injuries at UPS and ordered Fairway to pay the medical expenses at issue. Fairway appealed to this court, and in a decision served and filed December 12, 2014, the decision of the compensation judge was affirmed.          The employee filed a petition to vacate the 1999 settlement on September 10, 2021, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 176.461. The employee has alleged that there has been a substantial change in medical condition since the time of the award which was clearly not anticipated and could not reasonably have been anticipated.          Medical Background          The employee’s 1992 low back injury was initially diagnosed as a herniated disc at L4-5. In August 1993, the employee underwent...

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