Dennis Cullen secures dismissal in a TIA /“Mini-Stoke” case – April 2013

Recently, a WCJ issued a Decision dismissing a Claim Petition where the Claimant alleged that he had a TIA/“mini-stroke” that was associated with a work-related surgery.  The Claimant sustained a work related rotator-cuff tear.  The rotator-cuff tear required surgery and the Claimant was on blood thinners due to a pre-existing non-work-related condition.  The Claimant alleged that because he needed to wean himself off of the blood thinners in the weeks leading up to surgery and that he had the TIA episode hours before he was to leave for his rotator-cuff surgery that his disability as a result of the mini-stroke was work-related.  He claimed that but for his need to wean off the blood thinners, he would not have had the TIA.  Claimant’s doctor admitted that he could not confirm that there was an actual obstruction in the artery was due to a blood clot.  In fact, the doctor had told a local newspaper reporter, and then was forced to admit during his deposition, that the Claimant’s artery was seventy percent blocked and that percentage blockage alone could have caused him to suffer a TIA or even die.  The doctor was being interviewed because of an experimental procedure that he performed on the Claimant to address the blockage.

                The Judge dismissed the Claim Petition finding that the Claimant was unable to prove that the weaning from the blood thinners was the cause of his TIA episode.