Jewett v. Real Tuff, Inc.Annotate this Case
Carlin Jewett was employed as a welder by Real Tuff where Jewett often worked on his knees. In 2006, Jewett suffered a right knee injury. Jewett received arthroscopic surgery, during which the surgeon found pre-existing bilateral osteoarthritis in Jewett's knee. Jewett subsequently filed a petition with the state Department of Labor, seeking workers' compensation for a right knee replacement. Two years later, Jewett suffered a second work-related injury to his left knee. Jewett added a workers' compensation claim for diagnostic treatment of his left knee. The Department and the circuit court ruled that Jewell failed to sustain his burden of proof on the alternate theories that (1) work-related injuries to both knees were a major contributing cause of the need for medical treatment, and (2) the cumulative effect of Jewett's work-related activities was a major contributing cause of the osteoarthritis. On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed, holding the Department and circuit court did not err in finding (1) Jewett's first injury was not a major contributing cause of Jewett's need for a right knee replacement, and (2) Jewett did not prove that working on his knees was a major contributing cause of his osteoarthritis.