ALJ Rejects Argument that Claimant’s Pulmonary Embolism is Related to Work Incident

Brad Miller and Joelle Levit recently prevailed on a complex medical claim in Colorado.  The claimant admittedly fell on her knee at work and was transported to the emergency room.  At the emergency room, the claimant had her knee checked out as there were concerns that she reinjured her prior total knee replacement.  Claimant also became ill toward the end of the examination at the emergency room and was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism.

Claimant argued that the pulmonary embolism was related to the work incident because of the temporal relationship between the two events.  Specifically, it was undisputed that the embolism was not causing any symptoms until after the work injury and the visit to the hospital.  Despite this history, respondents argued that the pulmonary embolism was due to the prior total knee replacement which occurred approximately 80 days before the work incident.

The ALJ agreed with respondents and denied all benefits related to the pulmonary embolism.  The ALJ specifically agreed with the pulmonologist hired by respondents who testified that the work incident would not cause an embolism (and that the condition was caused by blood clots which developed after the total knee replacement).  The ALJ also found that any temporary injury to the knee had resolved so no further medical benefits were due.

This decision confirms the fact that a medical condition will not always be deemed work-related just because the symptoms started immediately after a work incident.

WC 5-055-295-01: January 10, 2018 SFFCLO (ALJ Edwin L. Felter, Jr.)

If you have any questions regarding this case, please contact Mr. Miller at or Ms. Levit at  Both Mr. Miller and Ms. Levit can also be reached at 720.488.9586.


From the March 2018 Pollart Miller Newsletter