In a contentious hearing, LOMAD prevailed proving that a claimant voluntarily retired, effectively removing herself from the labor market and the claimant’s subsequent part-time job did not support any claim for reduced earnings. The claimant, who worked at a hospital, was injured and continued to work for a period of time and then took regular retirement. A few months later the claimant got a part-time job at a deli. Claimant was seeking lost time and reduced earnings.
At the trial level, claimant testified. Upon conclusion of the testimony, we aggressively argued that the claimant had voluntarily retired – as no doctor suggested or advised to retire, and the claimant testified that it was time for her to retire from the hospital. Further, we argued that the claim for reduced earnings while working at the deli was improper. Specifically, there were no doctors providing any work restrictions and therefore the claimant’s reduced earnings were due solely to the claimant’s own decision to work part-time.
The WCLJ agreed with our position and found that the claimant had voluntarily retired from her job at the hospital and was not entitled to lost time. Further, the WCLJ sided with our position that the claim for reduced earnings was based on the claimant’s decision to work part-time, not due to any work restrictions placed on her. Overall, no awards were paid.
In this claim, LOMAD took another deep dive into the record which revealed no doctor was advising to retire or provided any work restrictions. With the facts in our corner, we went into the hearing knowing the answers, but needed the claimant to confirm – which she did. This was an excellent win for our client and LOMAD!