July 20, 2020 Toms River Man Receives $191,730.00 to Settle Work Related Injuries

A Toms River man, Donald Freibott, agreed to accept 55% of partial total, amounting to $191.730.00, to settle his worker’s compensation claim against the Township of Lakewood Public Works for injuries sustained as a result of an occupational claim. 

Mr. Freibott, a 66 year old gentleman, worked as a truck mechanic for the Township of Lakewood for 22 years. He has repetitive injuries to his cervical and lumbar spine from heavy lifting while working on street sweepers and trucks. 

He started getting pain in his neck and back, and was initially seen by his primary medical physician. He was referred for physical therapy. Mr. Freibott was treated conservatively for his cervical and lumbar complaints for multiple weeks. When conservative treatment failed, an MRI was ordered which showed disc herniations at L4-5 and L5-S1 as well as herniation at C4-5. 

Mr. Freibott was referred to Bruce Rosenblum, M.D., a neurosurgeon who performed a bilateral L4-5, L5-S1 lumbar decompressive laminectomy. Postoperatively, he did not recover well and developed a fluid collection anterior to the lumbar spine. A drainage of the complex postoperative wound was performed and the Petitioner was placed on an antibiotic regime. 

Mr. Freibott continued to be symptomatic both in his cervical and lumbar spine. He went through a course of transforaminal epidural injection and continued conservative treatment with physical therapy as well. When conservative treatment failed, he underwent a lumbar fusion from L4 to the sacrum with instrumentation. 

At the time of the hearing, Mr. Freibott’s bills amounted to $413,354.06. The Court concluded that Mr. Freibott’s injuries were compensable and an Order Approving Settlement was entered. The Court also concluded that the Respondent was responsible for all medical bills related to this injury. 

*Results may vary depending on particular facts and legal circumstances.