The initial workers’ compensation claim originated when Charles Romano injured his shoulder and cervical spine on Dec. 20, 2003 while stocking shelves at a Ralph’s grocery store (part of The Kroger Co.) in Camarillo, Calif. After undergoing surgery for the resultant injuries on August 29, 2005, Romano contracted methicillin-resistant straphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which not only caused renal and pulmonary failure but also paralysis below the shoulders (from C8 down).
Romano later sought treatment for the serious infection at the Ventura County Medical Center, where he had no choice but to use Medi-Cal—the state’s version of Medicaid—because Sedgwick refused to authorize treatment. In fact, Medi-Cal paid for Romano’s medical bills dating from November 2005 through February 2007, ultimately picking up a tab for $300,000.
On October 25, 2006, a workers’ compensation judge issued an amended findings and award,ruling that the MRSA infection was a...
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