News & Education

Withering Cross-Examination Causes Claimant to Contradict Self; WLSC Wins for Seabord Marine

Jan 12, 2010 - News by

On September 2, 2010, Bernard Probst and Ian Ronderos tried the workers’ compensation case of Ofelio Horta v. Seaboard Marine. The Claimant, a dockworker, alleged that he injured his arm while climbing onto his work truck at Seaboard Marine’s place of business the Port of Miami.

The Claimant was terminated by the Employer because the Employer determined that the Claimant was actually injured while engaged in a work place fight with a co-worker. In a devastating cross-examination, Mr. Probst confronted the Claimant with his own Final Hearing and deposition testimony that he did not get in a fight or throw a punch.

Mr. Probst then played for the Court a videotape of the Claimant punching a co-worker whilst brawling with him.

The Claimant could not provide the Court with any explanation whatsoever for his inconsistent testimony and clung to his obviously falsified testimony that he did not throw a punch.

Mr. Probst also impeached one of the Claimant’s co-workers with a prior written statement that the Claimant was injured in a workplace fight, when this co-worker attempted to testify at Final Hearing that he was not sure if the Claimant was injured in a fight. On September 23, 2010, the Honorable Judge Sylvia Medina-Shore issued a Final Compensation Order determining that the Claimant’s injuries were not compensable.

Opposing counsel filed a Motion for Rehearing, arguing that, even though the Claimant was injured in a fight, the injuries were still compensable.

Recognizing that the Claimant had completely changed its position concerning how the subject injury occurred, Judge Medina-Shore entered an Amended Compensation Order even more strongly in favor of the Employer/Carrier.

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