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Flight attendant failed to prove physical therapy caused second injury


A United Airlines flight attendant who injured her shoulder while undergoing physical therapy following a work-related wrist injury failed to prove her treatment caused her second injury, an appeals court in New Jersey ruled Wednesday.

The 32-year flight attendant was several weeks into authorized physical therapy — dubbed “work-conditioning” and a precursor to her plan to return to work following a wrist injury four months earlier — when she alleged she suffered an injury to her left shoulder in June 2016 while performing lifting exercises. The following month, she filed a second workers comp claim asserting that the shoulder injury “arose out of and in the course of her employment,” according to documents in Priscilla Robinson v. United Airlines, filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division in Jersey City, New Jersey.

United Airlines subsequently denied that her second injury met this legal burden and an appeal to the state’s judge of compensation ensued, resulting in the case being dismissed on the grounds that the flight attendant failed to prove that the shoulder injury wasn’t pre-existing, according to documents.

The appeals court affirmed the judge’s ruling, which followed conflicting testimony from doctors on the cause of her second injury, that she failed to provide adequate evidence that the second injury was caused by her treatment.

“The (judge of compensation) noted that at no time during petitioner's three work conditioning sessions did she complain of having suffered an injury to her left shoulder during therapy,” the latest ruling states. “Appeals court ruled the (judge) did not err by finding petitioner did not sustain her burden.”

The airline and the attorneys involved could not immediately be reached for comment.



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