When a person is injured on the job in Wisconsin, they should be able to trust that the system of workers' compensation will be there to help them. For many people, this can and does happen. However, for other persons, receiving the benefits and assistance they need can be an ongoing challenge. Such has been the case for one woman who had worked for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
As reported by the Journal Sentinel, the woman has been employed by the university for nearly 20 years when she was injured after falling out of her chair at her desk in the summer of 2009. It is not known if she had ever sought workers' compensation prior to that but due to the soft tissue injuries, she was granted nine months of workers' compensation benefits. After this, the physician for the university declared her injury healed and benefits ceased.
Since that time, her case has been heard by numerous bodies including a Circuit Court, the State Supreme Court, a Court of Appeals and a workers' compensation administrative law judge. At issue is the fact that she had a pre-existing back condition that a surgeon indicated had been exacerbated by her fall. As such, she underwent surgery for the back condition.
Rulings from the various bodies have bounced around from indicating she deserves workers' compensation and even disability benefits to stating that no such compensation is due as the back injury is unrelated to the fall from her desk chair. It is unclear at this time what the next step in the process will be for her.