Repetitive shoulder claim not compensable under Medical Treatment Guidelines criteria

Claimant worked as a housekeeper for an apartment complex for 32 years without any injuries or symptoms.  A few months after the complex was purchased by Respondent-Employer, Claimant’s job duties were increased and she began to experience bilateral shoulder and wrist pain.  Surgery to one shoulder was recommended due to a rotator cuff tear.  Claimant alleged that her injury was due to repetitive scrubbing and denied having any specific incident or acute injury.  The authorized treating provider reviewed Claimant’s job description and opined that Claimant’s injury was not work-related under the Rule 17 Medical Treatment Guidelines for cumulative trauma injuries and discharged her from care.  Subsequently, Claimant’s primary care physician and surgeon both opined that her injury was work-related but did not discuss the Guidelines.  The surgeon opined that Claimant had pre-existing arthritis that was aggravated by her work duties.  Respondents argued that because there was not a specific incident or acute injury, the  injury fell under the Medical Treatment Guidelines  (MTG) criteria and Rule 17 had to be applied.  The ALJ concurred and concluded that Claimant’s job duties did not meet the criteria for work-relatedness under the MTG  because her job duties did not meet the requisite force or repetition required for an upper extremity injury.  Claimant’s claim was denied and dismissed.

Would you like to know more?  Contact Ilene Feldmeier at or 303-414-5425.


From the August 2017 Pollart Miller Newsletter