Medical Conditions: Herniated Disk

Liberty v. Valor Re: Handel [01/30/08] 2008 MTWCC 7 Where the claimant suffered a neck injury in a March 5, 2002, industrial accident and did not obtain a cervical MRI until March 23, 2005, it is impossible to know when the herniation revealed on the MRI occurred. It either did not exist or was asymptomatic until some time after the industrial accident, and either occurred or became symptomatic at that point.
Heffner v. Montana State Fund [07/13/07] 2007 MTWCC 29 Where Petitioner suffered several serious injuries as a result of an industrial accident that occurred approximately eight years prior to the first concrete piece of medical evidence indicating a possible disk herniation at the L4-L5 disk level, and some twenty-four years prior to the detection of a large fragment at the same level, the Court finds that Petitioner failed to satisfy his burden of proof that his herniation and fragment are the result of his industrial accident. The mere possibility that his disk herniation is related to the accident is not sufficient to satisfy this burden. Viewed in its totality, the evidence relating the herniation and fragment is too scant to meet Petitioner’s burden.
(Evans) Brian v. State Fund [11/22/96] 1996 MTWCC 73 Back surgery was compensable, and penalty and attorneys fees ordered against insurer, where overwhelming evidence indicated claimant's slip and fall caused increased, totally disabling back pain. Insurer's reliance on fact that pre- and post-accident MRIs were the same, and fact that surgery had been recommended prior to the accident, was not reasonable where claimant and physicians made clear her pain increased and total disability ensured and she had previously been working.