PALM BEACH GARDENS and VOLUSIA COUNTY- Herman Parodi of Volusia County never imagined that his workers' compensation claim for an on-the-job shoulder injury would turn into a lawsuit, but when dealing with the administrators of his plan, the Summit defendants, those responsible for authorizing coverage and controlling access to his medical treatments, left him worse than when he started, he had no other choice.
With the help of attorney Ted Leopold, managing partner of the consumer justice law firm of Leopold Law, P.A., of Palm Beach Gardens, a permanently disabled Herman Parodi seeks damages for personal injuries, severe emotional distress and reckless indifference to his welfare. The Summit defendants include Summit Consulting, Inc., Bridgefield Employers Insurance Company and Heritage Summit Healthcare, Inc., all authorized agents of Florida Contracting Company, Mr. Parodi's former employer.
On November 2, 2003, Herman Parodi sustained a right shoulder injury that ultimately required surgery while on the job as an employee of Florida Contracting Company. The surgery was performed by Dr. Reed, an orthopedic surgeon authorized by the Summit defendants under Mr. Parodi's workers' compensation coverage. Two years following his surgery, Mr. Parodi developed a neurological disorder known as Reflexive Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS), a condition of the sympathetic nervous system, which if left without proper treatment, can spread throughout the entire body. Despite Dr. Reed's recommendation that Mr. Parodi receive treatment from an RSD/CRPS specialist, the Summit defendants would not authorize it and continued to deny Mr. Parodi the coverage he needed or access to medical providers outside their network despite his worsening condition, severe pain and inability to work. Furthermore, the Summit defendants ultimately terminated all medical care and treatment being received by Mr. Parodi, arguing that his workplace injury was not the major contributing cause of his inability to return to work.
"The conduct of the Summit defendants and their agents was part of a scheme to gain corporate profits at the expense of and to the direct detriment of injured workers such as Mr. Parodi," said Ted Leopold. "Because these companies put profits over people and denied Mr. Parodi the essential care he needed, Herman Parodi is left to suffer a life-long disability that was entirely preventable. With this case we hope to send a message to these corporations to end this despicable practice and to give people the proper treatment to which they are entitled," Mr. Leopold concluded.