News

FHM DBA TRIAL VICTORY AFFIRMED ON APPEAL

Congratulations to Freehill Partner John F. Karpousis and Associate Matthew J. Pallay, whose trial victory in the matter of Gatewood v. Fluor was recently affirmed  by the Benefits Review Board.  At trial, the claimant unsuccessfully alleged that he suffered debilitating contact dermatitis from handling fuel and other materials while working overseas for Fluor.  He also unsuccessfully alleged psychological disability diagnosed upon his return home to Texas. The Board rejected claimant’s arguments on appeal that the  Section 20 (a) presumption was not adequately rebutted by Fluor and specifically rejected the claimant’s argument that his psychological injury was caused by difficulty readjusting to life back in the United States post-termination, under the Marino/ Sewell doctrine.  Because the Employer severed the causal connection for both injuries, and because the Claimant’s termination was deemed a “legitimate personnel action”, the claims were deemed non-compensable by the BRB.  A copy of the decision can be found here.