Additional commentary by Timothy Horrigan
(member of the House Petitions & Redress Committee)
This is a workman's comp-related petition filed by a state representative, Andrew Manuse, who is normally as anti-labor as they come. I only saw about the first 20 minutes and the last 5 minutes of the initial 90-minute hearing because I had to go off and testify against HB-1285, a bill which would eliminate the state art fund. But I sat through the entirety of two subsequent hearings.
Mr. Henry is a construction worker who said he was injured while he was lifting a heavy 2 by 12 into place, or maybe he was tearing siding down, or maybe he was putting up siding, or maybe he was moving a ladder. The committee was provided with several different accounts of the instigating incident, which apparently happened sometime in August 2006. The two common elements of the various stories were that he was working with someone who happened to be a relative of the boss, and that someone or something fell as a result of this co-worker's incompetence.
In any case, Mr. Henry began suffering severe pain and he lost his job. He tried to go back to work, couldn't go back to work and then had a hard time (for whatever reason) getting workmen's compensation. There was also controversy over the treatment: doctors were reluctant to prescribe certain painkillers, for various reasons, including the facts that he had no insurance and no workmen's compensation.
He mentions the name of a
witness in his petition, who never testified before the
She is the owner of the house where he was working when he was
(allegedly) injured. Apparently, she would have only been able
that she gave him an Aleve
after he complained of neck pain. I have redacted her
name from the petition.
PETITION FOR REDRESS OF GRIEVANCE
Honorable House of Representatives
FROM: Petitioner Representative Andrew J. Manuse, Rock. 5
DATE: January 19, 2012
SUBJECT: Grievance of Wade Henry
Your Petitioner Representative Manuse on behalf of Wade Henry, hereinafter presents the following summary of his grievances involving decisions of David J. Rogers, hearings officer, and other employees of the Department of Labor and David Siff, chairman, and other members of the Compensation Appeals Board and invokes the constitutional authority and duty of the Honorable House of Representatives pursuant to Articles 31 and 32 to bring about redress:
Grievances involving the employees of the Department of Labor, including David J. Rogers, hearing officer, and members of the Compensation Appeals Board, including David Siff, chairman, for the following:
The Department of Labor misinterpreted the facts of the case, leading to an erroneous decision, as follows:
The Department cited 2 past unrelated injuries as rationale for denying Mr. Henry's claim. Mr. Henry had injured his shoulder twice before the incident leading to the claim, but the injuries were not debilitating.
The Department incorrectly omitted testimony and evidence from doctors that Mr. Henry reported a "tearing in his neck" on a date in late August 2006, which is a different injury than the injury used to deny his claim and an injury that was debilitating.
The Department incorrectly cited the description of the workplace incident that occurred, as testified to by Mr. Henry and his witness, [homeowner's name redacted] of Salem, New Hampshire.
The Department and the Compensation Appeals Board inappropriately used past criminal history and Mr. Henry's understandable desire for pain medication as evidence for their decisions.
The Compensation Appeals Board denied Mr. Henry due process when the Board:
Denied a private investigator's report as hearsay evidence; and
Would not allow a rehearing after Mr. Henry's attorney drafted a clear and consistent documentation of the facts on November 19, 2008, which clearly disputed the facts used to deny Mr. Henry's claim.
Wherefore, your Petitioner prays that the House of Representatives consider this proposed remedy:
Introduce a house joint resolution that requests, notwithstanding any laws or rules to the contrary, another hearing that allows the evidence to be reconsidered and clarified.
Consider and introduce changes to laws and administrative rules to prevent denial of due process or the activities which led to these faulty decisions.
Respectfully submitted by Petitioner Representative Manuse on Behalf of Wade Henry.
Rep. Reichard, Rock. 5
Rep. Itse, Rock. 9
Rep. Manuse prepared a thorough (though not necessarily 100% convincing) case summary in March 2012. I have decided to take it down from my web site, to protect the privacy and reputations of the various parties involved, including Mr. Henry himself. The gist of Manuse's statement is that Mr. Henry says he injured himself at work but he never qualified for workmens compensation. He had only limited success getting pain medication, and he was accused of "drug-seeking behavior." Physical therapy was repeatedly recommended,
Other 2012 Petitions:
Andrew Manuse's Legislation for the 2012 session (he sponsored or cosponsored 51 bills!)
Official Petitions & Redress committee page (not much to see here)