Earlier this month, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled that a state agency acted correctly when it granted a Juneau County workers’ compensation claim in 2010.
“We will not now second-guess those determinations on appeal,” the court stated in its ruling.
The decision came after the county sought to overturn a ruling resulting from a 2006 incident involving Juneau County Sheriff’s Detective Tim Andres.
According to court records, Andres slipped on the wet floor of the Juneau County Justice Center in 2006. He injured his right knee in the fall, and the county did not dispute the compensation for the resulting knee surgery Andres needed.
However, the county challenged the assertion that a later infection in the knee, which eventually needed replacement surgery, was directly caused by the initial injury. Prosecutors went further in their argument, saying Andres used a hot tub too soon after surgery, in direct contradiction of doctor’s orders.
Prosecutors argued that the claim should have been denied because Andres testified that he did not use a hot tub after his initial surgery, even though information contained in the medical reports of doctors who treated him created “legitimate doubt” about the cause of the infection. Despite their best efforts, the appeals court stood by the original ruling.
“We reject the county’s argument that the inconsistencies between the medical reports and Andres’ testimony create a legitimate doubt,” the appeals court said in its decision.
The ruling reflected a similar decision made by Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Patrick Taggart, who said in his November 2011 ruling that the agency had not ignored “credible and substantial evidence” that Andres may have exacerbated the problem by entering a hot tub before the first surgery had fully healed.
The ruling means that the county, which is self insured for worker’s compensation purposes, must pay Andres and his attorney more than $73,000 for medical bills and missed weeks of work in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Related source: WiscNews.com