20-01WC. Webster v. Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.
|Case Date:||July 05, 2001|
Vermont Workers Compensation 2001. 20-01WC. Webster v. Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant July 5, 2001State File Nos. M-16406; P-8562 By: Margaret A. Mangan Hearing Officer For: R. Tasha Wallis Commissioner Opinion No. 20-01WCWalter C. Webster v. Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power PlantAPPEARANCES: Michael J. Hertz, Esq. for the claimant Andrew C. Boxer, Esq. for the employer EXHIBITS: Claimant's Exhibit 1: Training Schedule Claimant's Exhibit II: Medical Records Defendant's Exhibit A: Medical Records Defendant's Exhibit B: Transcript of Deposition of Damaso Vidal, M.D. STIPULATION OF CONTESTED ISSUES: 1. Did the claimant suffer a compensable injury arising out of and in the course of his employment with the defendant from his work-related activities on May 22, 1998 (State File No. P-8562) and/or from work-related activities ending on or about December 31, 1998, including training sessions attended by the claimant during November and December 1998 (M-16406)? If so, was the claimant rendered temporarily and totally disabled as a result of either or both alleged injuries? 2. If so, is the claimant entitled to temporary total disability benefits retroactive to December 31, 1998 as a result of either or both alleged injuries or, in the alternative, did his entitlement to temporary total disability benefits end on some date after December 31, 1998? A. If the claimant was temporarily and totally disabled from employment, during what periods of time was he disabled? B. Was the claimant entitled to temporary total disability benefits, despite having some work incapacity during certain periods of time, when the defendant would not allow him to return to employment while using Methadone or other narcotic pain relievers? 3. Is the defendant obligated to provide medical benefits to the claimant and to pay expenses incurred for medical treatment of the claimant's compensable injuries since May 22, 1998, or subsequently, including treatment provided by Drs. Shapiro, Vidal and Provost, the Hitchcock Clinic and the Cheshire Medical Center? 4. Did the claimant waive any right to benefits for the alleged injury of May 22, 1998, by failing to notify the employer of the injury within the time required by the Department's regulations and decisions? 5. In the event the claimant prevails in whole or in part, should the defendant be ordered to pay interest, costs and attorney's fees? STIPULATION OF UNCONTESTED FACTS: 1. As of May 22, 1998 and December 31, 1998, claimant was an employee of defendant within the meaning of the Vermont Workers' Compensation Act ("Act"). 2. As of May 22, 1998 and December 31, 1998 defendant was an employer within the meaning of the Act. 3. Claimant alleges that he suffered a personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment with defendant on May 22, 1998 (P-8562) and/or December 31, 1998 (M- 16406). 4. Claimant has not worked for defendant since December 31, 1998. 5. As of May 22, 1998 and December 31 1998 claimant had three dependents under the age of 21 years. 6. By letter dated March 13, 1999 defendant's insurance carrier denied claimant's claim for workers' compensation benefits based on the alleged injury of December 31, 1998 (M- 16406). 7. Claimant made a claim for workers' compensation benefits based on the alleged injury of May 22, 1998 (P-8562) by filing an Employee Notice and Claim for Compensation (Form 5) on or about November 13, 1999, after institution of these proceedings. 8. Claimant has received no workers' compensation benefits for either of the alleged injuries. 9. As of December 31, 1998 claimant's average weekly wage was $1,156.46 and his compensation rate was $770.97. 10. Claimant received short-term disability benefits from January 11, 1999 to May 14, 1999. 11. Claimant filed an application for hearing on or about July 9, 1999 and an amended application for hearing on or about July 28, 1999 (both in M-16406) seeking temporary total disability benefits, medical benefits, attorney's fees, interests and costs. 12. The parties agree to the admission of the claimant's medical records. FINDINGS OF FACT: 1. Claimant, who was born on November 12, 1956, lives with his wife Sheila and three minor children in Guilford, Vermont. He obtained a GED in 1975. 2. Claimant worked part-time during high school at a cemetery and a racetrack. He also did carpentry work from time to time. 3. After high school claimant continued to work at the racetrack for a few years. Then, in 1978 he joined the carpenter's union and worked on the construction of various shopping malls in Massachusetts. 4. Claimant first worked at Vermont Yankee in 1979 when his union sent him there to work as a millwright during a power outage. He later joined the...
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