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Appellate court upholds denial of palliative care

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed that a man is not entitled to ongoing palliative care because he failed to specify what treatment he believes he needs.

In Jeff Reeves v. Citizens Financial Services, No. 93A02-1107-EX-604, Jeff Reeves was injured in a car accident while in the course of his employment with Citizens Financial Services. He had pain in his neck, lower back, left hip and legs. Over the course of seven years, he saw numerous doctors or specialists to try to diagnose and treat the pain in his back and legs.

The matter went before a single hearing member of the Worker’s Compensation Board because Reeves and Citizens Financial could not agree on the company’s liability for any further treatment. The single hearing member found Reeves had reached maximum medical improvement, had a permanent partial impairment of five percent and was not entitled to palliative care. The full board adopted the single hearing member’s opinion in full in June 2011.

Reeves appealed the decision that he’s not entitled to ongoing palliative care, but did not specify what type of treatment he thinks he should receive. Citizens Financial argued that none of the doctors’ opinions clearly indicate that palliative care would reduce the extent of Reeves’ impairment.

There is conflicting evidence in this case as to whether palliative care – medicine, physical therapy or some other measure – reduces the extent of Reeves’ impairment, ruled the COA. Since he has not met the burden of showing the evidence is undisputed and leads inescapably to the opposite result of what the board found, the judges affirmed the board’s decision.

 

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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