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bilateral knee injuries at work and fired for leaving for a doctor appointment!
State: PA
Date of Injury: 2010

I graduated from college in 2009 second in my class. Electrical things were always interesting to me so I went to school for industrial/commercial electric related areas of study. I took my first job offer working with large circuit breakers in a small town maybe 30 minutes from my home. It was close and I wanted to expand my resume for the future.

I worked at the company for 7 months and I enjoyed the work but the people were something else. I had the worst luck at this job that I've ever had in my life. I was randomly assaulted one day by a guy fresh out of the marines right in front of everyone else because I told him to hang on for a second(he wanted me to help him but I was busy fixing a problem with a circuit breaker), and I was out of work maybe 2 weeks over that. A couple weeks after I got back to work over the assault I ended up falling and tore up both my knees.

I've had 1 arthroscopic surgery to repair my meniscus (after which I was told my ACL is tore about 20% but the Comp Doc said you need 50% to have surgery to repair it and honestly that surgery sounds terrible) in one knee and I am scheduling the next surgery tomorrow which is the first on my other knee. After the next surgery my new doctor wants to actually re-scope the first knee that the Comp Doctor scoped because I am having the same issues that I have had since falling- knees clicking and popping when I get up and major pain and discomfort when I walk. Also a new problem has been appearing- my knees have locked up about 4 times while I was carrying my 3 year old son and I almost caused us both to get hurt a couple times.

The medical side of this has been going on for 2 years now. The insurance company refused to pay for my testing, PCP surgical clearance appointment, and additional testing that I need for my 2nd surgery so I have been hung up at a stalemate for 10 months and my claims adjuster won't speak with me anymore. I finally had a hearing over a petition to suspend my benefits recently, which my excellent lawyer won for me within 3 minutes. I only make so much a week, I can't afford to pay the medical bills myself and there was no way I could do it. I refuse to spend my little bit of money on doctor bills. Plain as that.

The worst part about my whole situation is this... I was fired from work for going to a scheduled doctors appointment, the appointment that resulted in me getting a reference to see an orthopedic surgeon. I just can't believe they fired me over this, although the company had made questionable hires around the time I fell and let them go over medical reasons. One guy had Crohn's Disease and he was fired shortly after the employer discovered that his physician ordered him to work no more than 40 hours a week. At this job overtime was mandatory and if you could not meet the hours they needed of you a reason was made up and you didn't have a job anymore. This is what happened to me.

I was at work one day and my main boss had meetings all day, he wasn't around to let him know I had an appointment. I told the next in command on the floor that I had to go after lunch, I left a note on the main boss' desk and left. The doctors office was packed, at first I had to go to a emergency clinic type of place until I got referrals to see Orthopedic Surgeons. I liked one doctor a lot she was very smart and seemed to side with me over the injury instead of my employer like most of the other doctors there so I made it a point to go when she was working. I sat at the clinic for about 5 hours total the day I had my appointment, and when I returned to work the building was locked down and everyone gone.

The next morning I wake up for work, get ready and left my house when I got a call from Human Resources. They informed me that my boss claimed I had just got up and left work the day before without telling anyone where I was going! This is false, everyone I worked with including the area supervisor knew I went to have my knees checked out because I was on restricted duty for a couple weeks and the knees got much worse because at my job they didn't have restricted duty positions. I was actually doing my normal everyday job during that time, lifting very heavy things and I was told it is either do that or go home and never come back. My family counted on me to have this job so I had to do it. Plus I have student loan payments to make. And bills. After I called the doctors office and told them what I was accused of they even called and confirmed to my boss that I was there for 5 hours, he didn't want to hear it.

I was told to wait a couple days while Human Resources checked into the matter. They called me back and told me to file for Unemployment. I said Unemployment? I don't think so, I'm hurt. So after fighting with them about it I was finally contacted by the insurance company and a claim adjuster. At first she was nice but now she won't answer or return my calls, I always have to speak to her supervisor now if I have an issue and even he wouldn't get back to me about the medical bills they wouldn't pay for my 2nd surgery. This is all very taxing on the soul and being in constant pain for 2 years isn't helping one bit. I hope it ends soon and I get fixed up.


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