Depending on the circumstances, a pre-existing injury can limit a Massachusetts employee’s right to recover workers’ compensation benefits. In David Corazzini v. Diamond Chevrolet, Board No. 025919-09, a man was employed as a salesperson for an automobile dealership. In addition to his sales duties, the worker was responsible for maintaining the property and snow removal. In January 2009, the employee was apparently injured in a fall while exiting a snow plow. More than one month later, the worker sought treatment for his neck injury at a local hospital. Despite his harm, the man continued to work for his employer until October 2009.
After leaving his sales position, the employee sought workers’ compensation benefits for his neck injury and related back pain. The car dealership responded by stating the business was not liable for the employee’s injuries because the work incident was not the sole cause of the man’s resulting pain. After that, the man was examined by an impartial physician pursuant to § 11A. Prior to a hearing on the matter, the employer and the worker both submitted additional medical evidence to an administrative law judge for review.