I've got a story to tell. Imagine for a moment this happened to you. It can. It is happening to me.
July 15
I was offered a permanent full time job with a warehouse store. After discussing this opportunity with the Warehouse Manager, and admitting to him my genetic disposition to back trouble, He still asked me if I'd like to take the job. Of course I accepted.

I worked and frequently complained that my back ached. The only response I ever got from my immediate supervisor was, " If you wanna quit then quit otherwise get to work."

Continued to work even though my back ached. I needed the money to help pay bills and buy necessities.

My longtime girlfriend kicks me out of her apartment. Of course I continue working, especially now I need to cover all my own bills. Back is aching almost daily.

I continue the daily work lifting heavy boxes of flooring tile, carpet remnants, and vinyl flooring. I'm frequently left to do most of the work myself because my co-worker/boss is out running something somewhere for someone. He's gone sometimes 2 — 3 hours, only to return in time for his "Lunch" and he's gone again for another hour.

My back aches all the time, but now I'm about to step into a fatherhood role for a 3 year old and a 6 year old. I can't quit or give up now!

May 22
I come home at the end of the day and I can barely manage to climb the stairs into our apartment, upon arriving upstairs, I'm unable to pick up my 3 year old step-son. I report to the emergency room. At the E.R. the doctor orders an x-ray, he then comes into the room after the x-ray and tells me he can see that obviously the discs in my back have problems and he can "see" where the vertebrae are hitting. The official reports says, "probably a normal variant". The doctor writes me a prescription and tells me flexeril and Tylenol. Take 3 days off work. So i call work and tell them I'm out for 3 days. those 3 days subsequently run in to my "weekend" off. I end up out for 5 days.

May 27
I return to work on "light duty". As usual my co-worker/boss takes off again! I'm left in the warehouse working "work orders" and filling installer's trucks on my own. I'm asked to pull a rather large remnant from the wall and cut it for a customer, I'm not supposed to be lifting, BUT, this is my job. I return home and then to the emergency room. The doctor there prescribes Tylenol #3 and continue the flexeril. He takes me out of work for 5 days. I call work to tell them I'm now going to be out for an additional 5 days.

May 29
I went to work today to pick up my paycheck and was handed a :
Termination Notice,
Reason: Back Problems
with my check.

I was brought into court on claims that I was "detached from the workforce". It's fairly difficult for able-bodied people to find work and I'm having to request light duty. Who do you think gets the jobs?

I request a prescription for a "Rolling walker with a seat". My Step-son's love to go for walks and to the playgrounds. I'm beginning to feel very unsteady on my feet.

Pain Management doctor performs a "Discogram" and proves I have disc tears at 2 different levels in my back, Previous M.R.I.'s have shown bulging and herniated discs at multiple levels. Herniation noted as "Impressing on the left dorsal nerve root ganglion".

Once again we are back in court on the "Workforce Detachment" issue.

Insurance lawyer files Section 114a Fraud charges against me. has video from last September showing me "not using my walker". Doctors have never stated "Needs walker" and do say "for extended trips" I walked my boys to the bus stop maybe 100 yards from my home, without the walker.

Back in court with the actual video and the P.I. My lawyer is too busy to join me in court so he sends his partner. We go through almost an hour of video pointing out that I'm walking here and there without my walker. Never am I seen going more then 100 yards but this is "conclusive evidence". I've testified that I'm a parent and I take care of my step-children. They videotape me carrying my stepson, all 26 pounds of him, who was sick, and opening a store door. Is this "fraud" also? I'm a parent and I think any parent would do the same, just because you have pain doesn't mean you can stop being a parent!

The Judge renders his decision stating that claimant "threw walker into his vehicle". I submit to you the public I drive a Conversion van, there is maybe 3 feet of space between the back doors and the back seat, There is no room and no possible way to "throw" anything bigger than a 2 liter of water! I call my lawyer, obviously I want to appeal the judges decision. My lawyer flat quits on me.

I file my own appeal complete with official paperwork and copies sent to all "Parties of Interest".

Insurance lawyer finally files their rebuttal. It's reminiscent of a 3 year old's argument, "The judge was right and this shouldn't be retried."
They have no rebuttal against the claims in the Appeal. They lied to influence the judge's decision, they misquote my doctors, they misquote the Workers Compensation Medical Guidelines 1996, and they claim the videotape is unedited. I have proof, they lied about almost everything, made false statements, edited the video, and misquoted many things. This is fraud!

I've been fighting the Workers Compensation Board for benefits since 6/2007. I was injured at work, lower back injury with evident disc tears, and subsequently was fired. I've been pursuing this case in the WC court to little avail.

I'm classified 75% disabled. I'm not supposed to lift over 10 pounds repetitively, not supposed to walk "extended" distances, not supposed to climb stairs. I'm disabled, the city acknowledges it, the doctors acknowledge it, workers compensation see's 88 minutes of video split between 11 different days over the course of 8 months, and decides I'm not disabled and I'm a fraud.

Your call New Yorkers, this is the cold hard truth. Nothing more, nothing
less. It's never on your mind until you are the one who just got hurt.
Speak up and Speak out.

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