12-0024. MICHELLE L. KEENE Employee Claimant v. CITY OF NOME Employer and ALASKA MUNICIPAL LEAGUE JOINT INSURANCE ASSOC Insurer Defendant(s).

Court:Alaska
 
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Alaska Workers Compensation Decisions 2012. Workers' Compensation Board 12-0024. MICHELLE L. KEENE Employee Claimant v. CITY OF NOME Employer and ALASKA MUNICIPAL LEAGUE JOINT INSURANCE ASSOC Insurer Defendant(s) Alaska Workers' Compensation Appeals Commission MICHELLE L. KEENE, Employee, Claimant, v. CITY OF NOME, Employer, and ALASKA MUNICIPAL LEAGUE JOINT INSURANCE ASSOC, Insurer, Defendant(s).AWCB Decision No. 12-0024Filed with AWCB Fairbanks, Alaskaon February 9, 2012AWCB Case No. 200717364INTERLOCUTORY DECISION AND ORDERThe City of Nome's (Employer) June 13, 2011, petition for a Second Independent Medical Evaluation (SIME) was heard on October 13, 2011, in Fairbanks, Alaska. Attorney Robert Griffin represented Employer. Attorney Herman Walker, Jr. represented Employee. The record closed at the hearing's conclusion on October 13, 2011. ISSUE Employer contends there is a clear medical dispute between Employee's treating physician and the Employer's Independent Medical Evaluator (EIME) regarding causation of Employee's preterm delivery, and requests Employee be ordered to attend an SIME. Employee contends Employer's evidence regarding causation is inadmissible and should be disregarded. She further contends once such evidence is disregarded, there is no dispute warranting an SIME, and therefore an SIME is unnecessary. Shall an SIME be ordered pursuant to AS 23.30.095(k)? FINDINGS OF FACT A review of the relevant record establishes the following facts and factual conclusions by a preponderance of the evidence: 1) On March 21, 2007, Employee inhaled chlorine fumes while inspecting chlorine tanks at the Nome Swimming Pool. Employee was approximately 23 weeks pregnant at the time. (Report of Injury, October 22, 2007; Workers' Compensation Claim, March 10, 2009; Isada Deposition 37:4-7, May 3, 2011). 2) On March 21, 2007, Sai-Ling Liu, M.D. treated Employee at the Nome Emergency Room (ER) and diagnosed preterm labor. Employee was Medivaced to Anchorage. (Dr. Liu report, March 21, 2007). 3) On March 26, 2007, Employee's child was born. (Discharge Summary, July 6, 2007). 4) On July 8, 2008, Leroy Casperson, M.D., evaluated Employee's medical records for an employer's independent medical evaluation (EIME) and opined Employee's chlorine exposure was not a cause of Employee's premature labor and delivery. (EIME Report, Dr. Casperson, July 8, 2008). 5) On August 8, 2008, Employer controverted all benefits based Dr. Casperson's EIME report. (Controversion, August 8, 2008). 6) On March 10, 2009, Employee filed a workers' compensation claim (WCC) requesting temporary total disability (TTD) and temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits, permanent partial impairment (PPI), medical costs, transportation costs, penalty, interest, attorney's fees and costs, and a finding of unfair or frivolous controversion. (WCC, March 10, 2009). 7) On March 31, 2009, Employer controverted all benefits based on Dr. Casperson's EIME report. (Controversion, March 31, 2009). 8) On February 20, 2011, Lara Williams, M.D. evaluated Employee's medical records and opined Employee's chlorine exposure was not a cause of her preterm delivery. (EIME Report, Dr. Williams. February 20, 2011). 9) On May 3, 2011, Employer deposed Employee's treating perinatologist, Nelson B. Isada, M.D. Dr. Isada opined Employee's chlorine inhalation was the substantial cause of Employee's preterm labor and delivery. (Isada Deposition 45:15-22, May 3, 2011). 10) On June 13, 2011, Employer filed a petition for an SIME, along with a completed SIME form, which listed causation as a medical dispute. (Employer's Petition for SIME, June 13, 2011). 11) There is a significant medical dispute between Employee's...

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