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Delaware SC denies brain damage claim

By John O'Brien | Feb 2, 2007

DOVER, Del. - The Delaware Supreme Court on Friday decided that a man who was crushed between a truck and excavation machine did not suffer brain damages and denied his claim for additional Workers' Compensation benefits.

Bruce Glanden said that he suffered 20-50 percent brain damage as a result of the March 2001 incident. A doctor testified before the Industrial Accident Board that he didn't, and Justice Randy Holland wrote the opinion confirming both the IAB's and Superior Court's rulings.

"As the Superior Court noted, the experts for both parties agreed that Glanden was confused," Holland wrote. "However, the IAB accepted Dr. (Lanny) Edelsohn's testimony that, although Glanden was confused, he was not permanently impaired.

"It is well settled that the IAB is free to choose between conflicting medical testimony, and that the expert testimony which is relied upon will constitute substantial evidence for purposes of appeal."

Glanden received benefits for injuries to his torso, clavicle and elbow in Dec. 2001, but filed in July 2005 for more benefits. He said he suffered permanent impairment to the brain as a result of the accident.

The IAB and Superior Court didn't agree, and he appealed on four grounds.

Most notable was that the courts overlooked permanent impairment findings. He said the IAB accepted Edelsohn's testimony that his fatigue and poor concentration were more likely caused by his large doses of pain medication.

Glanden would have much rather preferred the courts take notice of the testimony of Drs. Kishor Patil and Stephen Rodgers, who agreed with the 20-50 percent range.

"Having examined Glanden on five separate occasions, Dr. Edelsohn concluded that he had not suffered any brain damage related to the industrial accident," Holland wrote.

Glanden also claimed that the courts relied on inadmissable hearsay statements contained in the Washington Hospital records that said Glanden did not exhibit mental or cognitive problems.

Because none of the Washington Hospitals doctors testified, Glanden said the records shouldn't have been admissible.

The Court found that the issue wasn't pivotal to Edelsohn's medical opinion, since the doctor examined him five times.

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