In December of 2010 a 58 year old forklift operator was injured at work when he fell stepping off his forklift at his work in South St. Louis County. The man’s personal injuries required surgery in which permanent hardware had to be implanted and resulted in a permanent disability to his leg; he missed three months of work after his surgery. His employer completely denied the Workers’ Compensation claim because the man blew a 0.014 blood alcohol reading on a breathalyzer at the emergency room shortly after the incident. The employer hired a toxicologist that argued that the client’s blood alcohol content was higher at the time of the injury at work.
Several attorneys turned his case down before he called Christopher Geldmacher at the Sauter Sullivan law firm. Chris listened to his story, and decided something wasn’t right, so he took the case. Sauter Sullivan hired their own toxicology expert who testified that the results of the breathalyzer test at the emergency room were not a reliable finding. In preliminary proceedings at the Division of Workers’ Compensation, two separate judges agreed. After initially denying the client’s claim completely, the employer changed course because of the hard work by Sauter Sullivan. Chris got the employer to pay the client over $35,000 in a settlement that included payment of all his medical bills, 12 weeks of back pay, and a fair settlement for his disability.