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Pretty Sure We Have A Case, Just Need Advice...

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Washington....but it's not necessarily happening in Washington. Lemme lay it all out.

My husband joined an electrician's guild and was hired on IMMEDIATELY by an electrician company, which will remain nameless, for legal reasons.

He worked there 11 days. The 10th day (8/20/14), he was using a drill saw to cut through some foam so he could run wire in a new building. He was following OSHA and company safety regulations TO. THE. LETTER. and the drill got stuck, and started to twist, and broke four of the teeth off the saw blade. He immediately got his supervisor, explained the issue, and asked for another saw. The supervisor told him to keep using the one he was. So he went back up his ladder, started on the next hole, *this time* it got caught, wrenched his whole arm around, and injured his arm. At first, he was fine, but about an hour later, he noticed his hand was swelling, and his pinkie finger was drooping *away* from his hand. It almost looked broken. XRAY's showed it wasn't.

Now, to give context, my husband was in another work-related accident three years ago, when his arm was crushed between a fridge and a washer in a freak loading accident at an appliance store, causing him to lose all feeling from his upper arm down to his hand. It took almost a year before the claim was finished, then my husband started school, and started his apprenticeship. The *arm* injured from *this* incident is the same as before, BUT, the injury he has *now* is completely new.

He went to the doctor the company referred him to, she cleared him as completely uninjured, because he said he wasn't in pain (which, duh, nerve damage, he can't feel if he's in pain, something he explained to her in detail three times--and as it turns out, she worked as a hand specialist for 5 years...). The next day, while carrying boxes, his hand gave out completely. Concerned, he told his bosses, who put him on light duty. At the end of the day, they fired him, explaining he wasn't injured as per the doctor, and if he couldn't pull his weight, they couldn't use him. So, he went and got re-examined by the same doctor--a week later, since that was their earliest appointment. She advised him that he was, in fact, injured, had ulnar nerve palsy in his hand, and potentially tore all the muscle connecting his pinky to his hand. (He wouldn't know, his hand was nerve-damaged from the previous incident, so he can't feel anything!) She requested a nerve-conductivity study through L&I,and gave him a new document that put him at 2% for the amount of work he was allowed to do with his hands.

My husband called his employer back to let them know he was, in fact, injured at the time they fired him, and requested the corporate address for the L&I claim, because the corporate address his foreman gave him came up as non-existent in the L&I database. He was hoping they'd apologize and give him his job back...but they started avoiding his calls. We've actually tested this--when he calls, it goes to voicemail. When I call, I get a live person. So I called a lawyer, who we're hoping to see next week. In the meantime, I called each office in each of the 4 states they have corporate offices in, and not only have I been transferred all over, but no one- NO ONE - will release what corporate office to use for L&I claims. At all. In fact, as soon as I mentioned L&I, they became hostile, belligerent, demanded to know all of my personal information, and cold-transferred me with no warning to upper-management, who also wouldn't answer their phones.

SO. Not only will L&I refuse to even start any paperwork because they don't even know what state the jurisdiction is in (he's getting paid Oregon wages, was injured in Washington, but the corporate office is in California and possibly Arizona) but he can't get a nerve-conductivity study to see if the palsy is causing his hand to claw up, and he can't get another job because of all the restrictions he has on him, and we're not receiving any checks to help supplement the fact that he's unemployed.

Oh, AND, as for the medical release form that basically is responsible for him being fired, the L&I manager from Washington advised us that the doctor needed to fix that form to show that he was injured, otherwise, the claim would be dismissed, since it wasn't related. There's a week from the time of injury to the date that the same doctor admitted he was injured, but L&I says they're missing paperwork admitting they're related or something. The doctor claims she can't do anything to tie the two forms together, because it's illegal. But L&I claims without some documentation tying the two forms together, we have nothing to stand on. We're both so confused, no one will give us straight answers, and even the legal counsel we're seeking has been lazy about getting back to us.

Any advice? Thoughts? Tips? Or maybe just some commiseration? :confused:

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