Case details

Applicant claimed collision caused traumatic brain injury





Result type

Not present

brain, brain damage, brain injury, chest, cognition, face, fracture, internal bleeding, mental, nose, psychological, rib, sensory, speech, tinnitus, traumatic brain injury
On April 15, 2018, applicant William Polhemus, 62, a software developer, was traveling for work during an ice storm. As he was driving in the course and scope of his employment on a highway in Michigan, he encountered a jackknifed semi-tractor-trailer that was sideway in the road. As he attempted to avoid the truck, his vehicle spun out of control and into the undercarriage of the trailer. Polhemus sustained to his head, face, back and right shoulder. Polhemus filed a workers’ compensation claim against his employer, Seaco Enterprise Inc., which was insured by CNA. He brought a claim against the respondent in an attempt to collect workers’ compensation benefits., Polhemus was transported by paramedics to the trauma department at Sparrow Hospital, in Lansing, Mich., where it was determined that he had sustained a traumatic brain injury, resulting in an intraparenchymal hemorrhage in the left frontal lobe, an intraventricular hemorrhage and a traumatic adrenal hematoma. (CT scans of the head confirmed the traumatic brain injury by revealing the hemorrhages and hematoma.) Polhemus also sustained fractured ribs, a pneumothorax, an injury to his right shoulder, and multiple facial lacerations. He underwent a cranial ventriculostomy, and was provided with a tracheostomy and gastrostomy due to his breathing and eating difficulties. After his condition stabilized, Polhemus was transferred to the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab at Northwestern University, in Chicago, where he underwent acute inpatient brain injury rehabilitation. He then transitioned to residential, post-acute, brain injury rehabilitation at QLI’s Tri-Dimensional Rehabilitation program before being transferred to a Centre for Neuro Skills facility, where, upon completion of interdisciplinary brain injury rehabilitation, he was transitioned to full-time assisted living at Learning Services, in Colorado. Polhemus claimed he that he continues to suffer from a neurocognitive disorder, a mood disorder, right-sided hemiparesis, frontal lobe executive dysfunction, impaired memory and attention, sleep apnea, and tinnitus (ringing in his ears). He also claimed that he suffers from pseudobulbar affect, which is a neurological condition that is characterized by episodes of sudden uncontrollable and inappropriate laughing or crying. In addition, Polhemus claimed that he suffers from adhesive capsulitis, or a frozen shoulder, to his right shoulder. Polhemus claimed that while he has made tremendous gains in rehabilitation, he still experiences ongoing cognitive, emotional and physical limitations due to his traumatic brain injury. His treating medical providers opined that Polhemus would benefit from long-term assisted living as a result of his issues with behavioral control secondary to the brain injury. Due to the complexity of Polhemus’ ongoing medical treatment, Polhemus’ counsel worked with experts in the field of rehabilitation to secure ongoing assisted living services for Polhemus as well as advocate for a finding of 100 percent total disability. While the respondent’s counsel accepted Polhemus’ physical , he disputed the nature and extent of the medical care that Polhemus would allegedly require.
Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, CA

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