Green v. Industrial Special Indemnity Fund

The Industrial Special Indemnity Fund (ISIF) appeals a decision of the Industrial Commission in which the Commission concluded that ISIF must pay a portion of Roy Green’s disability benefits because Green had a pre-existing condition. In 2006, Green was logging alone when a 1700-pound tree fell on him, striking him on his hardhat. The accident occurred after another tree that he had just felled knocked the culpable tree loose. Green avoided being crushed only because of the presence of a nearby stump. When Green came to, he found that his legs were tingling, he had little sensation and difficulty walking. Green managed to drive to St. Maries to seek medical treatment. After receiving treatment from various physicians and completing an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME), Green was referred to neurosurgeon Dr. Bret Dirks. Dr. Dirks diagnosed Green with a lower back injury that was directly related to the 2006 Accident. Dr. Dirks recommended surgery, and in early 2007, Green underwent a bi-level lumbar fusion with decompression surgery from L3 to L5. Following the surgery, Green expressed concern about “right-sided neck pain that goes into the right arm and makes it feel like jelly.” MRI images of Green’s cervical spine taken on July 11, 2006, and May 23, 2007, showed, among other things, a bulging disk at C5–6. Dr. Dirks recommended an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at C5–6 with plating and cadaver bone. Dr. Dirks attributed the need for this surgery to the 2006 Accident. On October 30, 2006, Green filed a complaint against St. Joes Salvage Logging (Employer) and Travelers Indemnity Company (Surety). Two years later, on November 6, 2008, Employer/Surety filed a complaint against ISIF. The Industrial Commission considered whether Green had pre-existing injuries that subjected ISIF to liability. The ISIF appealed when the Commission held that it was responsible for a portion of Green's disability benefits. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the Commission. View "Green v. Industrial Special Indemnity Fund" on Justia Law