Bauer v. Genesis Healthcare Group

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Bauer v. Genesis Healthcare Group

Case Number
A-18-1212
Court Number
Douglas
Call Date
September 10, 2019
Case Time
9:30 AM
Case Summary

A-18-1212, Bauer (Appellant)  v. Genesis Healthcare

 Workers’ Compensation Court, Judge J. Michael Fitzgerald

Attorney for Appellant:  Christopher R. Miller, Mark P. Grell (Miller Grell Law Group, PC, LLO)

Attorney for Appellee:  Jason A. Kidd (Engles, Ketcham, Olson & Keith, P.C.)

Civil: Workers’ Compensation Action 

Action Taken by Trial Court:  The Workers’ Compensation Court found that the appellant was injured in the course and scope of his employment with his employer in a 2017 accident but dismissed the case based upon its finding that the appellant did not notify his employer of his injury as soon as was practicable.

Assignments of Error on Appeal:  The appellant contends that the trial court erred in finding that he failed to give his employer notice of his injury as soon as was practicable.

Extended Case Summary

A-18-1212, Michael Bauer (Appellant) v. Genesis Healthcare Group, a workers’ compensation case, to be argued 9/10/19 at Concordia University.

Michael Bauer was employed by Genesis Healthcare Group working as a director of rehabilitation and physical therapy assistant at a rehabilitation facility. On September 15, 2017, Bauer was lifting a patient from a wheelchair when he injured his right shoulder. Initially, Bauer thought that the injury was only a minor sprain or tear that would resolve itself with time and did not report the injury to Genesis. Weeks later, on October 1, 2017, while working at his family farm attempting to attach a blade to a tractor, Bauer felt pain and a pop in his right shoulder. At his wife’s urging, Bauer finally saw a doctor on October 6 but did not mention the work injury, only mentioning the farm injury. Bauer saw a medical specialist on October 20, but again did not mention the work injury, only mentioning the farm injury. After meeting with the specialist, Bauer learned that the injury was more severe than he initially thought. On Friday, October 20, 2017, Bauer called Genesis to report his workplace injury from September 15, but was unable to reach the appropriate person. Bauer filed a written report with Genesis on Monday, October 23. In late November, 2017, the specialist diagnosed Bauer with a biceps tendon subluxation with rotator cuff tendinopathy of the right shoulder. At this time, Bauer first advised the doctor that he may have first injured his shoulder in mid-September when he was lifting a patient at work.

Bauer filed a petition with the Workers’ Compensation Court in December 2017 alleging he had sustained the injuries to his right shoulder on September 15, 2017, when he was lifting a patient and while was employed with Genesis. A trial was held in June 2018. The Workers’ Compensation Court found that Bauer was injured in the course and scope of his employment with Genesis in an accident on September 15, 2017. However, the court dismissed Bauer’s petition based upon its finding that Bauer did not give notice of his injury to Genesis as soon as was practicable.

Bauer has now appealed to the Nebraska Court of Appeals claiming that the Workers’ Compensation Court erred in finding that he failed to give Genesis notice of his injury as soon as was practicable. The issue presented to the Court of Appeals is whether Bauer reported his September 15, 2017, injury to Genesis “as soon as practicable.”

No proceedings for compensation for an injury under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act shall be maintained unless a notice of the injury shall have been given to the employer as soon as practicable after the happening thereof; . . . Want of such written notice shall not be a bar to proceedings under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act, if it be shown that the employer had notice or knowledge of the injury.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-133 (Reissue 2016).

Case Location
Concordia University
Court Type
WCC
Schedule Code
A1
Panel Text
Moore, Chief Judge, Pirtle and Welch, Judges