Back Injury While Working For UPS
I injured my back while working for united parcel service as a customer counter clerk in 1984. I required surgery that same year. I filed for workers compensation benefit in june of 1984. My hearing was postponed to a future date fourteen times, before finally being heard in 1987. I too , lost much of my financial security and credit rating because of the time the lawyers and magistrate didn't care.
Lets remember injured workers, that the accrued benefits your employer will owe you is the working money machine for your attorney. Of course United Parcel appealed my favorable decision to the workers comp appellate commission, which took four years for them to affirm my award.
After seven years in litigation, I thought it was over. All of the surgeons had testified that i should not return to my job because of the restrictions i would carry the rest of my life. However, four months before the appellate commission affirmed my award to benefits, they filed a stop and recoup petition for my benefits, claiming i was no longer disabled.
After follow-up medical exams and depositions taken from my independent surgeon, and united parcels surgeon, it was determined by both that i should not return to my job because the job functions far exceeded my physical restrictions. The beat went on until 1995, when a new magistrate wasn't smart enough to equate prophylactic restrictions that wouldn't allow me to perform my job at ups as a disability to perform that job, and terminated my benefits. The appellate court affirmed that stupid ruling in 1997, from 1984 until 1998 ups would not let me return to my job, or any job because of my medical restrictions.
I appealed that decision to the michigan court of appeals. At the same time i contacted ups and told them i was returning to my job. They told me my job wasn't there, and tried to offer me a more strenuous job than the one i had. I refused, and filed a grievance for my own position. I returned to work in september of 1998. Ups took the position I had no restrictions when I returned.
In december of 1998, the michigan court of appeals accepted to hear my case. As i was further hurting my spine working without restrictions, in december of 2000 the court of appeals reversed the termination of my benefits by ruling that prophylactic restrictions could constitute a disability, if the surgery i had for the work related injury , and the opinions of the the surgeons resulted in the prophylactic restrictions diagnosis.
The court of appeals sent the case back with directives to the worker comp appellant commission for reconsideration. The commission sent it back to the magistrate. The magistrate ruled the same way he did in 1995, and the appellate commission has again rubber stamped the magistrate. Neither the magistrate, or the commission addressed the michigan court of appeals directives.
At this time the case is back waiting for a hearing once again with the michigan court of appeals. I continue work against all of the surgeons opinions, and yes my back bothers me each day. My weakened spine is now creating other medical problems for me. However, I have to protect my job and benefits for as long as i can, because I will not start over with a new claim, which may take another twenty years, before we get a decision on this one. Yes, this is my story - twenty years old and continuing.
Has anyone out there ever heard of a case going this long? I welcome your comments.