“All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses.”

In a recent decision, Puturi v. Benny’s Home Service, LLC, 5697CRB-2-11-11 (November 5, 2012) the CRB dismissed a claim in which an employee had injured his back and offered undisputed medical evidence supportive of compensability because the claimant was deemed not to be a credible witness by the trial commissioner. In a “fruit of the poisonous tree” analysis, the CRB found that even though there was uncontroverted evidence from the treating physician that the claimant had sustained a compensable injury while at work, “if a trial commissioner believes a claimant is not a credible witness, he may determine that any medical opinion which was reliant on the claimant’s narrative is also unreliable.” The CRB apparently gave significant weight to the fact that the treating physician indicated his ultimate opinion on compensability was largely formed by the history that his patient (the claimant) provided to him in the initial visit. In essence, the CRB upheld the trial commissioner’s determination that because the claimant was not credible during his testimony at trial, that it is reasonable to conclude that his history to the treating physician would also not have been truthful. As a result, the CRB dismissed the case.

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