Employee with shoulder injury appeals Workers' Compensation case against Tyson

lawyer signing papers in law library

A Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. employee, Alija Saracevic started working at Tyson in 2004.  He job was to shave parts of the hogs as they moved down an automated line.  In 2010, Saracevic developed pain in her left shoulder, arm and fingers.  She was treated through doctors referred by her employer and was given work restrictions.  Later that year, she continued to have pain despite the restrictions, physical therapy, and injections into her shoulder.  Surgery was recommended for calcification tendonitis but the doctor found it not to be work-related even though "repetitive activity could exacerbate symptoms."  Tyson denied her Work Comp claim to pay for the surgery.  Saracevic proceeded with treatment on her own and had surgery.  

Saracevic filed a claim for permanent-partial Workers' Compensation benefits, saying that her left shoulder and left carpal-tunnel injury was due to repetitive work performed while at Tyson.  Her employer had two doctors and a nurse practitioner testify regarding her injury and the case.  They concluded after reviewing medical records and viewing video of workers doing her job that Saracevic's injury did require surgery but her injury was not related to her job duties at Tyson.  The Workers' Compensation Commissioner affirmed that her shoulder condition was not compensable.

On appeal, Saracevic said that the video the doctors evaluated regarding her work duties was misleading.  However, the Commissioner upheld the original decision because of the weight of the eveidence and explanation given by the doctors and nurse practitioner.  Her appeal was denied.  

 

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