WORKERS COMP. CLAIM
& INJURED WORKER
I ruptured two discs in my lower back at work. My former employer required none-union employees to perform union jobs, when union employees or representatives were not in the work area. After I suffered the on the job injury to my back, my former employer’s medical department informed me of the ruptured discs and sent me back to work. Even though I was experiencing severe and excruciating pain in my lower back, my former employer refused to take me off work for fear of the union learning of how I suffered my injury.
With the disc fragments continuing to cause me to suffer more nerve damage than the injury, my former employer finally referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who finally took me off work a month later. During my first back surgery, the orthopedic surgeon’s negligence caused me to suffer paralysis from my waist down into my feet. With my former employer’s permission, the orthopedic surgeon discharged me from the hospital with an immediate referral to a neurosurgeon. While I was out of the hospital and keeping my appointments with both doctors, the orthopedic surgeon over-medicated me with samples of Anaprox that he had been giving me from his office. Since the drug had been causing me to hemorrhage internally and without my knowledge, I had to be hospitalized for another five days to stop the hemorrhaging.
My former employer helped the orthopedic surgeon to cover-up his mistakes with the Anaprox, just as the company had done with the doctor’s mistakes during my first back surgery. Since the orthopedic surgeon had taken me off work under my former employer’s Workers Compensation Insurance and according to the company’s Internal Regulation 145-8, my former employer pressured the doctor to return me to my job. My seniority, sick, vacation, retirement, and pay were accruing as if I was reporting to work each day or as an active employee. Although the company wanted me back at work as quickly as possible, the neurosurgeon gave me time to re-cover from the trauma of my first back surgery and from the trauma of being over-medicated with the Anaprox. Even though the orthopedic surgeon was the doctor in charge of the medical care that I was to receive under Worker’s Compensation, the neurosurgeon had to perform my second back surgery to correct some of the orthopedic surgeon’s mistakes.
In exactly four weeks from the date of my second back surgery, my former employer asked the orthopedic surgeon to return me to my job. Although the incision in my back from my second back surgery had not healed, the orthopedic surgeon returned me to work at my former employer’s request. Although my former employer and the orthopedic surgeon had no regards for my life or health, the doctor did instruct the company to keep me on Light Duty for the first six weeks that I was back at work. With attorneys or law firms constantly contacting me at work about filing medical malpractice law suits against the company and the orthopedic surgeon, my former employer tried to force me into quitting my job. Some of the management’s employees discriminated against me, because of my injury, race, and color. The EEOC and the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission refused to accept my employment discrimination complaints, just on my former employer’s words alone.
After remaining back at work for three months, I earned a promotion to a supervisory position in Real-time Computer Software Testing and Development. Two months later, I received only a 24-percent disability rating from the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court for the injury that I had suffered to my back. After remaining back at work for more than ten months, the neurosurgeon had to take me off work again for the same on the job injury. The Workers’ Compensation Law Firm I hired had re-opened my Workers’ Compensation Claim against my former employer with the neurosurgeon in charge. After my third back surgery, the law firm I hired conspired with my former employer to prevent me from receiving medical care from the neurosurgeon. Although the doctor and I complained to the Oklahoma Worker’s Compensation Court about the company’s and the attorneys’ illegal acts, the court ignored our complaints.
My former employer and the law firm made it impossible for me to receive any medical care for my on the job injury, unless I received the care from doctors that the law firm referred me to for treatments. The mistreatment that I received drove me into a state of depression, but the law firm found me a doctor to treat my depression in their offices. Besides preventing me from receiving medical treatments from the court approved neurosurgeon for my injury at work, my former employer and the law firm decided that I should only receive medical care from doctors that were Osteopathic Doctors. They stopped me from receiving treatments from Medical Doctors for my on the job injury. The Oklahoma Workersí Compensation Court still refused to respond to any of the complaints that the neurosurgeon and I filed. The Oklahoma Bar Association and the Oklahoma Attorney Generalís Office, also referred my complaints to the court. With the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court ignoring all complaints against the law firm and my former employer, I discharged the law firm. The letter that I wrote the judge to discharge the law firm included a complaint as well.
Although the law firm had conspired with my former employer to prevent me from receiving the proper medical care for my on the job injury, the law firm also forced me into filing a Lack of Faith law suit against my former employer. The law firm used the doctor in their offices and the promise to provide me with the proper medical care to force me into signing an agreement with another law firm. Without my former employerís knowledge, the law firm I discharged was also apart of the other law firm and the lack of faith law suit. Although I did not know that the Attorney Client Agreement with the other law firm was illegal, the law firm I discharged wore the agreement where the attorneys obtained the profits from the Lack of Faith case. Instead of the new Workersí Compensation Law Firm I hired correcting the first law firmís illegal acts, the new law firm joined the conspiracy.
The Workers Compensation Attorneys and my former employer rated me as being 100% totally and permanently disabled in 1992, without a doctorí report or a report from any medical facility. In 1994, the forced me to the Oklahoma Workerís Compensation Court to settle my Workers Compensation Claim as being permanent partial disabled for the same injury. Even though I signed every document pertaining to the case as being Under Duress, the Oklahoma Workersí Compensation Court still ignored my complaint. Instead of being able to tell the court that I was Under Duress, I could not because the judge had turned on a recording device and left the Court-room. My former employment still used the 100% totally and permanently disabled disability rating that they made-up with the attorneys in 1992, to prevent me from returning to my job. Even though I did not receive but a permanent partial disability rating from the Oklahoma Workers Compensation Court, I have not been able to even obtain work.
The EEOC, the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission, courts, and attorneys in Oklahoma have prevented me from taking any legal actions. —-George Gatewood, Oklahoma