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In Lawley v. Chelsea
Hidden Acres, Aaron Ashcraft obtained a defense verdict from Judge Sonny
Conwill following a bench trial. The Plaintiff alleged she sustained an injury
in the course and scope of her employment as a patient care tech, lifting a
resident out of a bed on July 23, 2013. This allegation remained consistent
throughout the litigation up until trial, despite evidence that the resident in
question died on July 22, 2013 and was no longer in the facility. Further
evidence showed the Plaintiff had an employer conducted physical on July 22,
2013 and did not complain of the injuries she allegedly sustained in the
incident. Finally, the treatment records uniformly stated the Plaintiff informed
the doctors that the injury occurred “gradually over time” and not due to a
At trial, the Plaintiff altered her testimony, stating that
she was injured “sometime in July.” However, she was unable to explain the
employer conducted physical, or why the treatment records did not discuss an
on-the-job injury. Aaron asserted, in trial briefs, that the possibility of an
on-the-job injury on or after July 22, 2013 was eliminated by the death of the
resident the Plaintiff asserted she was lifting, and the possibility of an
injury before July 22, 2013 was eliminated by the employer conducted physical.
Therefore, there was no available date “in July” on which the Plaintiff could prove an injury.
Judge Conwill agreed, and denied benefits on the ground that
the Plaintiff had not proven she sustained an injury in the course and scope of
her employment. The denial of benefits is currently on appeal.