works on a machine at a Connecticut factory. To operate the
machine, she has reach up and pull down a lever with her
right hand. She
has to do this over and over. She has to use
just a little bit of force to pull down the lever.
day, the lever gets stuck as Gloria is pulling it down,
causing a jolt to her shoulder. She tells her
supervisor she hurt her shoulder and goes home early that
day. She stays home the next day, using sick time.
continues working at her job for several years. She has worked as
a machine operator at other factories. Most of these jobs
required her to do things over and over using her right
also worked for a while cleaning offices. She had to mop and
use a vacuum cleaner.
right arm usually hurts by the end of the workday. Lately, her arm
has begun to hurt her earlier and earlier in the day.
mentions to her family doctor that her arm has been
bothering her. The
doctor sends her to an orthopedist who tells her she may
hears that her factory is going to shut down. She gets a job
inspecting parts at another factory. She does not have
to use her arm very much at all in this job. She never goes
back to see the doctor about the surgery.
being at her new job for several months, Gloria
accidentally bangs her right shoulder into some shelving
at work. The
nurse at the company's medical clinic asks her if she ever
injured her right shoulder before and Gloria mentions how
it used to bother her at her old job. The doctor at the clinic tells her she needs shoulder surgery.
Gloria's Connecticut Workers Compensation
workers compensation insurance carrier for Gloria's
present employer refuses to pay for the shoulder surgery. The insurance
company says her shoulder injury was caused by her
previous job. Gloria
hires a lawyer to help her.
lawyer protects her by filing a workers compensation claim
against her present employer and her old employer. In the claim
against her old employer, the lawyer says that reaching up
and pulling down the lever over and over again caused her
to hurt her shoulder through repetitive trauma.
The insurance company for her old employer gives
two reasons for rejecting her claim. It says she hurt
herself at her new job.
It also says she hurt herself at her old job when
the lever got stuck but that she never filed an official
workers compensation claim and now because more than one
year has gone by it is too late to file a claim.