The egregious ­mismanagement of a California workers’ compensation claim is being blamed for an injured worker’s severe infection and resultant death.

The ongoing case is drawing ire from various associations, including the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA), which is lobbying that criminal charges be filed against Sedgwick Claims Management Services, the third-party administrator involved in the claim, as well as one of its adjusters.

The initial workers’ compensation claim originated when Charles Romano injured his shoulder and cervical spine on Dec. 20, 2003 while stocking shelves at a Ralph’s grocery store (part of The Kroger Co.) in Camarillo, Calif. After undergoing surgery for the resultant injuries on August 29, 2005, Romano contracted methicillin-resistant straphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which not only caused renal and pulmonary failure but also paralysis below the shoulders (from C8 down).

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