Ben-Israel v. Association of Social Work Boards Inc., 100721 VAWC, VA00001716832

Docket NºJurisdiction Claim VA00001716832
Case DateOctober 07, 2021
CourtVirginia
TEREZ'AIYAH BEN-ISRAEL
v.
ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORK BOARDS INC., HANOVER INSURANCE CO (THE), Insurance Carrier,
THE HANOVER INSURANCE CO, Claim Administrator
Jurisdiction Claim No. VA00001716832
Claim Administrator File No. 8300066718
Virginia In The Workers’ Compensation Commission
October 7, 2021
          Date of Injury: March 6, 2020          REVIEW on the record by Commissioner Marshall, Commissioner Newman, and Commissioner Rapaport at Richmond, Virginia.           Corey R. Pollard, Esquire For the Claimant.           Raymond J. Williams, III, Esquire For the Defendants.          OPINION           NEWMAN, Commissioner          The claimant requested review of the May 24, 2021 Opinion finding she failed to prove a compensable injury by accident. We AFFIRM.          I. Material Proceedings          The claimant filed claims alleging having sustained multiple injuries in an accident on March 6, 2020. She sought an award of medical benefits and temporary total disability beginning July 7, 2020.[1] Relevant to the issues on review, the defendants asserted that the claimant did not sustain an injury by accident arising out of her employment.[2]          The Deputy Commissioner found that the claimant did not prove she sustained a compensable injury by accident. He was not persuaded that she injured herself in the manner she described at the hearing.          The claimant requests review.          II. Findings of Fact and Rulings of Law          The claimant worked for the employer as a Candidate Services Specialist, a supervisory role to which she was promoted in 2019. She testified that at the time she accepted this position, she was under work restrictions imposed by Dr. Daniel Halpert on September 25, 2017 which prohibited lifting objects weighing more than two pounds, going up or down stairs, squatting, or stooping. According to the claimant, these restrictions related to injuries she had sustained previously to her knees. Although the claimant agreed that she had been treated for back pain prior to the work accident, she denied that her restrictions were related to anything other than her chronic bilateral knee condition.          The claimant testified that in early 2020, her job duties included having to move and process boxes of examination guides. The employer accommodated her restrictions by providing an empty office where the guides would be delivered to allow the claimant to retrieve them individually to be stuffed into envelopes. On March 6, 2020, she had run out of guides and around 10:30 AM, she went to the mailroom where the guides were kept. There she found two boxes of guides stacked underneath a counter. She estimated the boxes weighed forty to forty-five pounds each. She “bent a little forward to pull them out.” (Tr. 43.) She intended to open the boxes, remove the guides one by one, and place them onto a pushcart. As she started to pull the boxes out from underneath the counter, the top box began to fall. To prevent the box from landing on her foot, she caught the box and lifted it up onto the pushcart at about chest level.          Following this incident, the claimant experienced radiating lower back pain. She sat down in the mailroom before returning to her station and finishing her shift. She tried to self-medicate, thinking it was something minor. She then returned to work on Monday, and worked the entire week. She testified that she attempted to see Dr. Halpert on Monday, but could not get an appointment for two weeks. A day or two after this incident, she began to experience pain in her neck, right shoulder, right forearm, right hand, and both legs down to her feet.          On March 15, 2020, the claimant had been washing dishes at...

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