Goetsch v. Smith & Wesson

Insurance Company


Date Decided

February 8, 2019

Panel Members

Timothy Collier

Elizabeth Elwin

Evelyn Knopf


Legal Causation


Slip & Fall Spine Pre-Existing Work Restrictions Aggravation Carpal Tunnel Subsequent Injury

File Size

167 KB


Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys

Mr. Goetsch had a prior neck condition requiring 3 surgeries. In 2015 he slipped and fell at work, requiring medical treatment and restrictions for a few months before resuming his full work duties.

ALJ Pelletier awarded him the protection of the Act on the neck injury, but he found that his ongoing neck problems were caused by the pre-existing condition and not by the work injury. Mr. Goetsch also claimed that his carpal tunnel injury requiring surgery in 2016 related to his neck injury. Judge Pelletier denied that claim for lack of evidence.

Mr. Goetsch appealed, but the Appellate Division panel affirmed the decision, finding support in the record for Judge Pelletier's decision. On appeal, Mr. Goetsch argued that Smith & Wesson processed his WC claim too slowly, causing problems with his medical insurance coverage. The panel held that he had waived that argument because he raised it for the first time on appeal.

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