Man seeks full disability for work-related foot problem, sues employer

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Dec. 21, 2008, 2:17pm

MARSHALL – While working as a press operator and general laborer for Exopack in December 2006, Larry Rosborough says he suffered a repetitive trauma to his left foot.

He was diagnosed with tarsal tunnel syndrome, a "job related foot problem" and taken off of work, recent court papers say.

Rosborough claims Exopack retaliated against him by labeling the injury as non-work related and placed him on short-term disability.

In August 2007, when his disability payments ran out, Rosborough filed a claim for compensation for a work-related injury with the Texas Department of Insurance. However, he argues the insurance company and his former employer refused to pay the claim.

The Longview resident filed suit against U.S. Fire Insurance Company, CorVel Corporation, formerly known as The Schaffer Companies Ltd.; Linda Saunders, Sherell Wilson and Exopack LLC on Dec. 11, in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

After the Texas Department of Insurance received Rosborough's claim, it sent two notices to U.S. Fire Insurance. According to the complaint, Linda Saunders the licensed adjuster, finally acknowledged the claim in January 2008 and filed a Notice of Disputed Issue and Refusal to Pay Benefits.

The reasons listed for dispute included "no compensable injury, no injury in the course and scope of employment, notice to the employer of the alleged injury was not timely given (within 30 days), and no medical to support an on-the-job injury."

The plaintiff states that the adjuster was not properly educated with regard to right to benefits with a work-related injury.

Further, the complaint states the adjuster failed to timely file the notice of denial and therefore, waived any alleged defense.

Another adjuster, Sherell Wilson also filed a notice of denial but did issue a payment for 52 weeks of benefits while continuing the dispute.

Rosborough alleges the insurance company and its adjusters breached a duty of good faith and fair dealing, breach of insurance contract and violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

He alleges his former employer Exopack committed retaliation by not acknowledging his "obvious work injury claim."

The lawsuit is seeking damages for attorney fees, mental anguish, out-of-pocket expenses relating to the dispute process and exemplary damages.

The plaintiff is represented by Longview attorney Marc C. Mayfield of the law firm Mayfield Weedon, LLP.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward will preside over the litigation.

Case No 2:08cv00468

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