The claimant was working as a union laborer for a major construction project in Iowa. While performing his work activities, the claimant felt a pop in his right shoulder and right arm. He reported it to the nurse that same day and ultimately we referred to the occupational doctors. They determined that an MRI was needed of AD’s right shoulder. The claimant was right handed so this injury had a significant effect on his home and work activities. It was determined that surgery was needed to repair a rotator cuff tear and the surgery was scheduled and undertaken a few months after the injury. Although the surgery provided some relief to AD as it relates to pain, it did not improve his strength. Pothitakis Law Firm helped to obtain authorization for medical care with a more specialized doctor as it related to the shoulder injury. The claimant was seen by a doctor and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
It was determined that the best course of action was not an additional surgery, but additional injections. Those were undertaken, which provided the claimant some relief. The claimant was ultimately determined to be limited in terms of his work activities and any attempt to return as a union laborer for major construction projects would be prohibited. A functional capacity evaluation was secured, which was testing that determines what AD could undertake physically in a safe manner and without resulting in re-injury. This functional capacity evaluation determined that AD would be limited to 5-10 pounds with his dominate right arm and right shoulder.
The Pothitakis Law Firm wanted to make sure AD received maximum compensation for the fact that he could no longer work as a union laborer. The Pothitakis Law Firm and Nicholas Pothitakis, a top Iowa Workers’ Compensation lawyer, filed a petition with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation commissioner seeking benefits based upon the extent of the injury to AD and for benefits relating to how this would impact his ability to perform work in the future. The Pothitakis Law Firm assisted by obtaining a second opinion for AD to detail the extent of the injuries as well as the permanency and impairment rating associated with injury. Further, the Firm obtained the services of a vocational rehabilitation expert, who provided testimony concerning limits that the claimant would have in seeking further employment. With a 5 pound lifting restriction, an 8th grade education, and past work all being construction the Pothitakis Law Firm took the position that AD would not be able to find work without extensive re-training, and given his lack of education, that that re-training would be difficult at best.
The Pothitakis Law Firm also had the claimant educationally tested to show the limitations with respect to reading and math and how those would also effect AD’s ability to perform a non-physical employment position. The Pothitakis Law firm was instrumental in maintaining weekly benefits for the claimant up until the time of settlement. The initial offer of settlement was a small and unreasonable offer. The Pothitakis Law Firm took and extremely firm position as it related to the case and was able to successfully resolve the matter for a payment of $300,000.