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Severely injured worker in Fairfax County, Virginia receives large lump sum settlement and yearly annuity valued at an amount greater than $1,000,000

On December 31, 2005, claimant, a nurse, injured her back lifting a heavy patient. Claimant underwent a lumbar surgery. Subsequently, she had difficulty voiding her bladder. After presentation to the emergency room complaining of the same, another surgery was performed to evacuate hematomas on her spine. The hematomas left her permanently disabled. Her diagnoses were cauda equina syndrome, failed back and neurogenic bladder.

Claimant subsequently developed avascular necrosis of the right knee. This condition was determined to be caused by the use of steroid therapy for treatment of her back. The carrier denied the causal relationship and further asserted the majority of the steroid therapy was prescribed by a provider previously determined to be an unauthorized provider by the Commission. The avascular necrosis could only be treated by undergoing a total knee replacement. Considering the immediate need for this procedure, the denial of coverage by the carrier, the risks of litigation and time frame under which a final ruling on this issue could be anticipated, the parties engaged in mediation, which resulted in settlement.

Based on claimant’s life expectancy, the total settlement, including up-front payment and the annuity, is valued at $1,700,000.