MIG Update – March 11, 2024

“Radicular Irritation” & MRI Findings Not MVA Related

This week, a MIG hold case where the Tribunal considered the diagnostic evidence provided by the Applicant. However as we have seen repeatedly in the MIG decisions, diagnostic evidence alone in the absence of the a medical opinion that confirms that said diagnosis is accident related is seldom accepted if at all.

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Factor: Causality

In Hayat v. Intact Insurance (22-001064), Shaukat Hayat was involved in a motor vehicle accident on January 13, 2020 and claims he sustained a radiculopathy type injury in the accident and should not be subject to the MIG.

Hayat relies on radicular pain finding by Dr. Frederick Levenston, chiropractor and an MRI dated March 22, 2023 which noted nerve root issue in his lumbar spine. He further submits that this evidence should be preferred over the insurer’s examination (IE) report.

Intact disagreed, and argued that the report following the MRI dated March 2023 did not mention the accident. It also relied on the IE report of GP Dr. Hanna dated March 2022, which opined that there was no evidence of radiculopathy, myelopathy or neuropathy and that the Applicant sustained a minor injury treatable within the MIG.

The Tribunal found:

    • Hayat’s MRI findings March 2023 indicates “Postsurgical changes of the lower lumbar spine. There are areas of enhancement adjacent to the right L4 and L5 nerve roots suggestive of scarring with no disc herniation identified.” The MRI goes on to say that “L2-3 small far right lateral disc protrusion is noted.” However as noted by Intact the MRI report does not mention the accident.
    • The note from Dr. Levenston indicated that Hayat suffered “radicular irritation,” together with nerve root issue in the lumbar spine and the small disc bulge identified by the MRI do not demonstrate a causal link to the subject accident.
    • Dr. Levenston provides very little information and offers no insight on causation. The MRI attributes the nerve root issue in the lumbar spine to “postsurgical changes” and not the accident.

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