Case Vignette – May 2021

Case Vignette – May 2021

How Hard Do You Look?

I am referring specifically to past medical history.

I recently saw a plaintiff who was thought to have sustained a knee joint injury “over a period of time” as a result of the arduous work practices required of him.

These “over a period of time” injuries are difficult at the best of times. Without a precise description of a specific event, it is always difficult to link a clinical circumstance to something that is vague and almost ethereal.

Despite recognising these difficulties, in this particular case, two other experts had attributed his current condition wholly and solely to the work practices. Unfortunately, they did not delve deeply into the past medical history. The plaintiff had been a particularly active soccer player for a number of years playing at a high level, was a triathlete of some standing, a rock climber and an avid gym attender doing weights and circuits seven days per week. He had been doing all of these things for many years.

It is hardly surprising therefore that he did have some radiographic and MRI scan examination findings of degeneration within his joint. Whilst I have sympathy for his condition, it was just unrealistic to believe that six or weight weeks of work were totally responsible for his condition.

The question then is “how hard to you look at the past medical history”? I believe it requires careful scrutiny.