A Delaware court has denied a bid by an injured worker for his former employer to compensate him for out-of-pocket medical cannabis expenses related to treatment for an on-the-job injury, Law360 reports. For the ruling, the judge sided with the employer’s medical expert over the expert provided by the plaintiff.
John Nobles-Roark, the plaintiff, was injured in 1998 while working for a restaurant and in 2000 a state board found his injury to be compensable. Nobles-Roark underwent surgery for the injury, but his condition worsened and in 2003 the board granted him a partial ruling in his disability claim. His former employer tried three times between 2004 and 2007 to end the disability, but the board denied the motion each time.
Nobles-Roark was approved for the state’s medical cannabis program in 2014 after undergoing traditional prescription medications and physical therapy from 2003 to 2018, his physician, Dr. Peter B. Bandera, testified.
Last year, Nobles-Roark filed the petition seeing compensation for his medical cannabis.
Dr. Jason Brokaw, a medical expert certified in pain management, testified on behalf of the employer, arguing that Nobles-Roark is not a good candidate for medical cannabis treatment based on his other concurrent conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.
Judge Andrea L. Rocanelli, agreeing with Browkaw, said that while the state legislature found “that medical marijuana can effectively treat some patients” the medical cannabis law “does not amount to a finding that medical marijuana is ‘reasonable and necessary’ to treat all patients.”
Rocanelli, in denying the claim, said there was sufficient evidence to support Brokaw’s opinion over Bandura’s.
Attorneys for Nobles-Roark told Law360 that they are considering an appeal.
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