Muscle And Nerve Damage From Workplace Injury

I am an Registered Nurse. I was verbally and physically attacked at work in January, 2000. I suffered severe neck pain, headaches, elevated blood pressure, drooping of my right eye and pain in my right arm after the attack. I was not allowed to use Workman's Compensation after the injury and thus could not continue injections by my neurologist to decrease spasms. Calls to the Workman Compensation carrier were not returned.

I tried to work throughout the year with frequent episodes of debilitating headaches and elevated blood pressure. Spasms in my neck were so bad at times that I could hardly hold my head up. In October, 2000 I was informed by the Workers Compensation carrier that I was denied. I immediately retained a lawyer. To make a long story short. After being attacked and injured my work productivity decreased due to absences from work. The attack also caused every plan for my Department to get behind. In January, 2001 my physician took me out of work until resolution of my headaches.

In February while on FMLA I was called in and asked to resign or be fired. I refused to resign so I was fired. They made up several erroneous complaints. But, the object was to break the Employee-Employer relationship to avoid the Workman's Compensation claim. I had never been reprimanded in any way before. I contacted the EEOC, the Labor Department, Senators and the President. I had reported the Operating Room Manager on many occasions for abusive, verbal attacks to no avail.

In 1998 I reported his behavior to EEOC who did not want to deal with it. In 2000, EEOC referred back to the 1998 file and did not issue me a right to sue letter. The Labor Department has not yet ruled on the FMLA issue. In August of 2002, I finally had a Workman's Compensation Hearing. At trial, my hospital admitted that I received an injury after the attack but questioned the severity.

I have now been diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystropy (Peripheral nerve damage) which is not reversible and most likely could have been prevented had I been allowed to receive consistent treatment immediately after my injury.

At the present time I am still waiting for the outcome of the hearing. After working 34 years in Nursing, today I have no insurance and no money to even purchase medications. It is my feeling that our government needs to ensure that the workers of the United States are treated fairly and that claims for Workers Compensation are handled as quickly as possible.



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