Michael Certain v. Township of Woodbridge

Clients: Central Jersey JIF and Qual-Lynx

Trial attorney:  John Geaney, Esq.
Brief attorney:  Keith Nagy, Esq.

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

The petitioner sustained a compensable low back in jury on October 29, 2009 lifting garbage cans at work. He treated with Dr. Giordano who discharged petitioner in January 2010 with a final diagnosis of a sprain and strain superimposed on preexisting degenerative disc disease and disc space collapse at L5-S1.  Petitioner argued that the work injury objectively worsened his spine, leading to an MRI done in July 2010 and then three level fusion surgery in 2014.  Petitioner sought 40% partial permanent disability causally related to the work accident.

Trial commenced in this matter.  At trial, respondent proved that petitioner had a prior MRI in July 2009 which appeared to be related to pain while vacuuming in petitioner’s own home.  Respondent argued that the MRI of July 2009 was essentially the same as the MRI of July 2010, which was proof that there was no objective change between petitioner’s spine caused by the work injury of October 29, 2009.  Judge Robert D. Thuring dismissed the case and found petitioner was entitled to no compensation for his fusion surgery.