K.C. (Casey) Pochettino, a partner in the firm’s Philadelphia office, successfully defended a Claim Petition such that the WCJ awarded only a two-month period of medical benefits and denied any claims for wage loss benefits.
Contrary to the typical doctor versus doctor litigation, in this case, the Claimant testified three times, three Employer fact witnesses testified and a total of four medical experts were deposed. Most importantly, Attorney Pochettino did not stop defending the case at the close of the record. Rather, she continued to pursue additional leads which required the record to reopen after multiple conference calls with the parties and the Judge. This evidence, including text messages sent by the Claimant, played a key role in the Judge’s determinations.
The WCJ rejected all of the Claimant’s allegations of a traumatic brain injury, despite an abnormal brain MRI, found the Claimant fully recovered from all of his work-related injuries within two months, and found it convincing that the Claimant voluntarily quit his job to avoid taking a post-accident drug test. The Claimant was awarded only two months of medical treatment and no wage loss benefits.
PRACTICE NOTE: Coordinated efforts by the Employer, carrier, and defense counsel can lead to successful decisions. In this case, the Employer was actively involved throughout the litigation. The entire defense team worked together to focus their efforts, and money, on the avenues that were most likely to lead to a successful outcome of the case. Although surveillance and extensive discovery may not be recommended in every case, when it is used properly, it can lead to significantly decreased exposure.