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Injured rail worker wants respect for podiatrists

The Supreme Court of Virginia could decide to give podiatrists some respect in the arena of medical evidence.

Podiatrists, like chiropractors, are not medical doctors, although they are trained and licensed to treat specific conditions.  Unlike chiropractors, however, podiatrists do not have a special statute in the Virginia Code allowing them to testify about what causes the conditions they treat.

The lack of legislative “respect” for podiatrists meant defeat for a former railroad worker who claimed his foot ailments were caused by walking on uneven rocks and other hazards of the rail yard.  A Roanoke judge tossed his FELA case in September, ruling that under Virginia law his podiatrists were not qualified to testify that the insults of the workplace caused his foot condition.

The Supreme Court decided this week to hear the appeal.

The injured man’s lawyer, Ray Ferris of Roanoke, said there is a $500,000 lost income claim at stake in the case.

By Peter Vieth

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