Construction worker Ronald Aima led a healthy and vigorous life until one day in 2006 when he severely injured his back on the job. Eight years later, having endured almost unremitting pain, severe limitations on his basic mobility, and a cut-off of any compensation from his employer’s insurance company, the State Workers’ Compensation Fund, the completely disabled Aima won his long battle for benefits. Represented by Boxer & Gerson workers’ compensation specialist Arjuna Farnsworth, Aima was awarded $1.2 million for past and future lost earnings.
“Mr. Aima has endured unsuccessful surgery and has difficulty even standing and sitting for more than 20 minutes,” says Farnsworth. “He suffered both physically and emotionally, hadn’t worked since 2006, then when insurance cut him off he went two years without any benefits at all. This has all been a huge hardship on him and his family. The award will help reduce the serious financial strain this can put on someone in his position.”
Judge David Hettick of the California State Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board ruled Aima’s disability is 100 percent from the job injury, a crucial factor in ensuring him just compensation, says Farnsworth. Even a determination that 99 percent was job injury- related and 1 percent was from a pre-existing condition can severely limit the amount of the award, Farnsworth explains-sometimes by a multiplier of 4-5.
“These are the kinds of cases that make attorneys happy they got into law,” Farnsworth concludes. “Helping people like Mr. Aima put their lives back together to the degree they can is what we do here.”