According to a report from Human Resources Director (HRD), the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) has overruled a judge, finding that a delivery driver who tripped and injured his ankle is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The judge had initially ruled that the worker had failed to credibly establish that his injury was “job-related.” The case is Hall vs. DHL Express, AIU Insurance Company, administered by Sedgwick Claims Management Services. In this article, our Fresno workers’ compensation attorney discusses this case in more detail.

The Background and Facts

The applicant, Chadrick Hall, was employed as a delivery driver by DHL Express, one of the world’s largest and most prominent logistics companies. Mr. Hall was responsible for several different job duties, including the loading and unloading of large trucks as well as the delivery of packages.

The incident occurred on July 21, 2021. Mr. Hall states that he hopped out of his vehicle to make a delivery, tripped, fell, and heard something “pop” in his ankle. Despite the pain, he finished his shift. However, the injury continued to worsen. On July 23, 2021, Mr. Hall went to the emergency room to get treatment for his ankle injury. He eventually got treatment from his own provider.

The Initial Denial of Benefits and Ruling Against the Worker

A workers’ compensation claim was filed by the delivery driver. A Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) was assigned to the case. There were two different evaluations by the QME—the first in December 2021, and the second in April 2022. There was contradictory evidence within the reports—including the first statement that Mr. Hall made in the ER. Mr. Hall states that there was a misunderstanding and that the ER nurses improperly recorded his statement saying that he suffered his ankle injury while on the way to play basketball. Eventually, his workers’ compensation claim was denied. A judge ruled against him, finding that he lacked credibility.

Workers’ Compensation Claim Overturned on Appeal

Upon review, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) has overturned the decision from the trial judge. The WCAB determined that Mr. Hall presented sufficient medical evidence and was sufficiently credible to establish that he suffered a work-related ankle injury. In rendering the decision, the WCAB panel emphasized that two professional medical reports supported Mr. Hall’s contention that his injury was job-related. The reports in question found that the patient (Mr. Hall) suffered an injury and pain progression based on the strenuous activity of exiting his work truck to make deliveries.

Consult With a Fresno, CA Workers’ Compensation Attorney

At Yrulegui & Roberts, we are devoted to providing solutions-driven, cost-effective legal guidance and support to employers. Contact our team today for a confidential, no-obligation consultation. With an office in Sacramento and other locations in Fresno and Bakersfield, we provide workers’ compensation defense services in the San Joaquin Valley and throughout Central California.