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Katrina Caro Medical Recovery Bills

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Katrina Caro is the girl who loved to smile big, laugh often, sing and dance everywhere. She enjoyed taking her pups to the dog park, walking in the rain, sitting at outdoor cafés, watching the NYC hustle and bustle, and chatting with people.

All that changed drastically over 2 ½ years when she was brutally assaulted at work.…In one second because of someone's reckless behaviour, her life was forever altered...Now  August 2017 Katrina still fights every day to recover her health, return to work and live her life.

Also, every day she battles with a Worker Comp insurer who repeatedly denies timely medically required care, prevents  health recovery . The insurer violates NYC, NYS, and federal laws as they focus on making profits $$$ at the expense of Katrina’s life and health. The insurer caused greater harm to Katrina than the assaulter since they totally disabled her by causing multiple debilitating chronic conditions to develop, has refused to pay for medically required treatments and has  taken away her ability to work , causing her great financial hardship.

Please support Katrina’s efforts to return to life,health and work 
Please help Katrina get the required medical treatment and recover  at one day....
Katrina will smile, laugh, sing and dance again.

Thank you for reading KATRINA"S STORY below

On December 20,2014 Katrina was assaulted at work at an NYC nightclub when a tall,muscular night club promoter deliberately went to slug a male club patron, and instead recklessly sucker punched Katrina in the jaw. He caused brutal trauma to her face, jaw, neck and broke multiple natural and crowned teeth.  The unrepentant assaulter was arrested. The NYC justice system gave him three days’ community service following a plea deal, and he continues to work and live his life.

On the other hand, Katrina got a life sentence, not just at the hands of the assaulter but at the hands of every Workers Comp insurance adjuster handling her case. They made up their minds that they were going to spend as little money as possible on medical care and disability benefits at any expense, including Katrina’s life.  Katrina is now totally disabled and unable to return to work. She made a three month return to work.However, the delay in getting access to the required medical care and continous interruptions and cutbacks in treatments caused physical complications and new debilitating  conditions, and halted her working....and halted her life.

When the Workers Comp judge awarded Katrina her disability benefits, again, the insurer filed a malicious appeal, throwing her case into  a panel review, which resulted in Katrina receiving no disability money for 11 months. Although the panel concurred with the judge and found the insurer’s appeal completely baseless, great financial harm was imposed on Katrina and her family during that lengthy period.

Katrina thought she would recover from her injuries, that  her jaw swelling and physical pain would subside, and she would have her teeth repaired . The Hospital ER MD had cautioned that complications of trauma to the head and jaw may surface later and unfortunately, they did.  In the last 2 1/2  plus years Katrina has seen over 30 medical providers  and has over 200 medical visits. and has consulted  via phone with countless other physicians.

Along with the development of TMJ (jaw) complications, her former employer’s Worker Compensation insurer, AMTrust, denied Katrina access to timely, prompt, complete and continuous medically required care shortly after her assault. AMTrust ‘s own IME (independent medical examiner) reported that the insurer had aborted the critical Phase 1 of her TMJ treatment. Other physicians concur.  Subsequently, focusing on profit, the insurer continuously interrupted physical therapy treatments. and cut off medications without physician approval. As a result, multiple chronic health complications ensued.

 1) Chronic TMJ impacts Katrina’s ability to eat/chew normally which led to emaciation and malnutrition. It also impacts her speaking ability.
2) Her broken teeth remain unrepaired  over 2 1/2 years later because her jaw is not strong enough to tolerate the dental procedures.  Other dental complications have developed .
3) As a result of the head trauma to the head and her chronic TMJ,  Katrina developed debilitating hyperacusis, a rare condition of extreme sensitivity and intolerance to everyday sound, causing extreme pain, physical collapse, spasms/seizures. The hyperacusis noise induced spasms further aggravate her TMJ, causing her jaw to lock, further limiting her speech and eating/chewing Her tolerance for sound is extremely low at 15-20 decibels, equivalent to whispering. This condition prevents Katrina from participating in routine everyday life activities and forces her to live quietly in her NYC home.  For example, she is unable to walk outside or take public transportation, and must limit her time traveling in cars to short distances because traffic noises cause her harm. Hyperacusis impacts every aspect of Katrina’s life.
4) The suckerpunch whiplash also harmed Katrina's neck and back ,so she deals with mobility complications
5) There are many other health complications resulting from her workplace injury and the the insurer's denial of medical treatment.

AMTrust further hurt Katrina by deliberating sending Katrina to IME exams that required Katrina travel long distances and to noisy construction site locations, causing hyperacusis pain and spams/seizures, debilitating her further and preventing recovery.  They sent a medical examiner to her home in June 2017 and he harmed her by failing to turn off his cell phone, although instructed to do so. He caused  her a major hyperacusis pain event and physical setbacks.  She has suffered further damage to her ears, jaw, neck, back, chest, and arm, planned  medical treatments have been stalled.

AMTrust has been found to have violated Worker Comp laws, Americans with Disabilities (ADA) law, NYC Human rights law and federal civil and human rights laws by  deliberately refusing to accomodate her  hyperacusis..  NY State Senator Hoylman and advocacy group DISABILITY RIGHTS NY have contacted the NYS Workers Comp Board and AMTrust insurance about the harm Katrina has been subjected to and the violation of multiple laws. Th

As result of her assault related injuries Katrina’s life, health, finances have been greatly and adversely impacted.

1)She is unable to work and one insurer IME indicated she may be permanently disabled.
2)Her deterioration requires that Katrina seek the advice and treatment of specialists not participating in the Worker Comp system. The costs for these treatments fall on Katrina.. Very few MDS participate in the NYS WC program because of the burdensome paperwork involved and because WC insurers fail to provide timely payments to the MDS.  Some WC MDS have refused to perform procedures on Katrina because AMTrust delays the payments for years.
3)New treatments for her TMJ and hypercucsis are being explored in the hopes of improving Katrina’s health and chances of recovery. These services will not be covered by the insurer.
4) Her physicians state that her hyperacusis and frail physical condition may require that Katrina have her dental work done in  multiple sessions... It is possible that her dental work  may have to be performed in a hospital or surgical facility under general anesthesia.  These factors will add increase the medical costs.  It is anticipated  that the carrier will refuse to pay for these services.There are other non-dental medical procedures that Katrina must have performed to assure recovery which AMTrust will resist paying  and the costs will be deferred to Katrina. All these expenses are a direct result of the assault.
5) The WC disability income Katrina receives is substantially less that what she was earning, and insufficient to cover her monthly expenses. WC Insurer held up disability payments for 11 months straight, appealing the judge’s decision to award disability benefits, causing Katrina and her family great financial hardship.
6)  To prevent further harm Katrina must minimize her traveling distances.  Although Katrina has considered moving out of her NYC apartment,  that is not viable because of her physical limitations... All of Katrina’s specialists who are also WC participating MDS are located in NYC. It is extremely difficult to find WC MDS who work close to Katrina's home.  Extended travel will cause hypercusuis pain,and spasms/seizures, which will cause her jaw to lock, causing more pain and hindering her ability to eat, which will harm her further.
Also the prospect of  finding a new landlord willing  to accept a tenant who is totally disabled and limited income is not realistic. Her home  is her safe place  and  any  chance of  recovery would be best  done in a location that is close her MDS and in  surroundings that give her security, peace and comfort

Thank you for taking the time to read Katrina’s story.

Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated  by Katrina and her family.

The link to the March 1,2017 NYPOST article  about Katrina  is included above.

Organizer and beneficiary

Tamara Jo Elkins
New York, NY
Katrina Caro

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