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We referred our client to an expert neurosurgeon, whose examination strengthened our client’s claim. Still, the insurer refused to make an offer.
We filed a complain for arbitration, and sought damages plus interest on any arbitration award. On the eve of the arbitration hearing, the insurer offered the underinsured policy limit of $150,000 on top of the $100,000 bodily injury limit.
An underinsured motorist claim was then presented through the teacher’s insurer. No offer of settlement was ever made by the underinsured carrier and Attorney Sabra was forced to file court action in the Superior Court. Case proceeded through arbitration and claimant was awarded $179,747.53 which included interest.
A count for violation of M.G.L. c. 93A/176D (Consumer Protection Statute) remains pending in the Superior Court.
An employee from Swansea injured his shoulder and lower back in the course of his employment in a slip and fall accident. In the worker’s compensation matter, the employee was paid Section 34 benefits for total disability. Attorney Sabra then filed a claim for Section 34A benefits for permanent and total disability and the employee was placed on Section 34A benefits after conference. The insurer appealed the conference Order.
At the same time, the employee filed a third party claim against the general contractor. The general contractor brought an action against the sub-contractor – the plaintiff’s employer. After an all-day mediation, the third party claim was settled for $400,000. A petition for approval of the third party settlement was filed in the Superior Court. Based on the insurance policy language, the court determined that the worker’s compensation carrier did not have a lien on the third party settlement. The court also determined, however, that the Hunter offset applied.
The worker’s compensation matter was settled for $305,000. In settling the worker’s compensation matter, the parties considered the probable amount of the Hunter offset in arriving at the settlement figure. As a result, the Hunter offset was waived and the employee’s future medical expenses will be paid in full by the worker’s compensation insurance carrier. The employee will continue to receive social security disability benefits.
Employee underwent three (3) surgeries to his back. Employee exhausted his Section 34 benefits (temporary total disability). Attorney Sabra filed a claim for Section 34A benefits (permanent and total disability) on the employee’s behalf and after conference an Order of Payment Section 34A and Section 35 (partial disability) was entered ordering the insurer to pay Section 34A benefits from the exhaustion of Section 34 benefits for a period of 12 weeks and thereafter Section 35 benefits at the maximum rate. Both parties appealed the conference Order.
The insurer contested the issue of earning capacity alleging that although the employee could not return to his past work, based on his age, education (college – no degree) and past work, he had transferable skills to other employment.
Attorney Sabra settled the case for $425,000 which represents over 7 1/2 years of future payments under Section 34A. In addition, the insurer is responsible for medical expenses for the remainder of the employee’s life as long as the medical treatment is reasonable and necessary and causally related to the industrial accident. The employee is also eligible for vocational retraining if he exercises that right within two (2) years from the date of lump sum settlement approval.
The employee has applied for Social Security Disability.
A 50 year old Taunton man injured his left hand at work which required surgery and middle finger amputation at middle phalanx. The employee returned to work with the same employer after 5 months. Attorney Sabra filed a claim for scarring/disfigurement and loss of function with the Department of Industrial Accidents and was able to settle the scarring/disfigurement for the maximum possible award of $15,000 and the loss of function for $6,862.