PHOENIX — An administrative law judge at the Arizona Industrial Commission has denied a benefits claim involving a woman who fell while training on a Segway at work.
Christine Long was employed by Allied Security in July of 2017 when her manager told her to learn to ride a Segway. Long worked security detail at the San Tan Village outdoor mall in Gilbert. The 56-year-old Army veteran had a history of neck and upper back problems and initially resisted getting on the Segway.
As 12 News reported previously, Long testified that her manager insisted she get on the Segway and learn to ride it. Within seconds, Long spun off the Segway and her body slammed against a curb.
Long claimed she had lingering effects from the fall in her leg and lower back, and security video of the fall was used as evidence in her injury benefits claim at the Commission.
Earlier this month, Administrative Law Judge Layna Taylor denied the claim, concluding there were “several issues” regarding Long’s credibility.
“I think it’s a ridiculous, crying, sickening shame,” Long said, regarding the Judge’s decision.
Judge Taylor questioned why Long didn’t go immediately to the hospital after the fall. Long testified in court she had a phobia of hospitals, possibly dating back to an injury she experienced as a child.
Taylor also noted that when Long visited her primary care doctor about six weeks later, the doctor didn’t note Long’s injury in his notes.
Dr. Brooks at the Banner Health clinic “did not mention anything about low back pain in the history of present illness section, and mentions only ‘chronic pain’ in the review of systems section,” Taylor wrote. There is also no record of an examination of the low back.
However, a Physician’s Assistant, Justin Ehmke, testified that with respect to the absence of any mention of an injury on Dr. Brooks’ record of the August visit, Ehmke testified that Dr. Brooks “is not the greatest in the documentation aspect of things.”
Long called the office the following month and, according to Ehmke, reported severe sciatica pain that had lasted for at least two months and “possibly since she fell at work.”
Judge Taylor ultimately concluded Christine “failed to meet her burden of proof…that she sustained an industrial lower back injury.”
Allied Universal is not commenting on the decision.
As 12 News previously reported, Christine believes the company tried to initially cover up the accident.
“Why if the company has a mandatory policy of the reporting of accidents, why wasn’t my accident reported?” Long said, noting the accident was never documented.
It was Long who provided video evidence of the fall to the commission. Long recorded the fall of a security surveillance monitor at work. It’s not known if Allied Security kept an original version of the fall.
Long claims her manager mishandled her case after the fall and led her to believe he would eventually be eligible for benefits.
“People are afraid to come forward, lest they be fired like myself, or transferred like my eye-witness,” Long said.
Long says she will send a complaint to the governor’s office and is looking for an attorney to help her file a civil lawsuit against Allied Universal.