2007-031. Wolf Dental Services Inc. and Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. Appellants vs. Randall Wolf CNA/Northern Adjusters Principal Life Insurance Co. and Health Care Recoveries Appellees.
Alaska Workers Compensation Decisions 2007. Workers' Compensation Appeals Commission 2007-031. Wolf Dental Services Inc. and Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. Appellants vs. Randall Wolf CNA/Northern Adjusters Principal Life Insurance Co. and Health Care Recoveries Appellees Alaska Workers' Compensation Appeals CommissionWolf Dental Services, Inc., and Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., Appellants, vs. Randall Wolf, CNA/Northern Adjusters, Principal Life Insurance Co. and Health Care Recoveries, Appellees.Decision No. 031 February 2, 2007AWCAC Appeal No. 06-038 AWCB Decision No. 06-0319AWCB Case No. 199927043Final Decision and Order Motion for Stay Pending Appeal from Alaska Workers' Compensation Board Decision No. 06-0319, issued December 4, 2006 by the southcentral panel at Anchorage, Rosemary Foster, Chair, David Kester, Member for Management, R. Scott Bridges, Member for Labor. Appearances: Trena Heikes, Law Office of Trena L. Heikes, for appellants Wolf Dental Services, Inc., and Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.; Randall Weddle, Holmes, Weddle and Barcott, for appellee CNA/Northern Adjusters, Principal Life Ins. Co., and Health Care Recoveries; Charles W. Coe, Esq., for appellee Randall Wolf.Commissioners: Jim Robison, Philip Ulmer,and Kristin Knudsen. This decision has been edited to conform to technical standards for publication. By: Kristin Knudsen. The appellants, Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. and Wolf Dental Services, Inc., filed a timely appeal to the commission and requested a stay of payment of benefits ordered by the board to Randall Wolf. In the hearing on the motion for stay, the chair of the commission raised the issue of whether the commission had jurisdiction of an appeal from the board's decision. The chair requested the parties to file briefs on the issue of jurisdiction by December 22, 2006. After reviewing the motion and briefs presented, the superior court's order, and the cases the commission found instructive, the commission determines that jurisdiction over this appeal rests with the superior court, as the superior court's remand implicitly reserved jurisdiction over an appeal of the board's decision on remand.(fn1) We briefly review the facts presented in this appeal. Dr. Wolf is a periodontal surgeon who practiced as a sole proprietor until he sold his practice in February 2000.(fn2) He purchased workers' compensation insurance through CNA until February 28, 1999; on March 1, 1999, he placed his workers' compensation insurance with Fireman's Fund. In 1996, Dr. Wolf was involved in a motor vehicle accident in which his neck was injured. He was treated for a neck strain, given a soft collar, and performed physical therapy. He returned to his practice, at that time insured by CNA, but experienced progressive neck pain. In 1998 he began treatment with Larry Levine, M.D., a physiatrist. An MRI in October 1998 showed spurring and protrusion of cervical discs, and narrowing of the neural foramina. In addition to physical therapy, Dr. Levine recommended an ergonomic study to assist Dr. Wolf in developing better support and positioning in his work. Dr. Wolf found he began having problems in other areas as he tried to incorporate the ergonomic recommendations. In March 1999, after Fireman's Fund became the workers' compensation insurer, Dr. Wolf experienced a sharp increase in shoulder pain. He saw Dr. Levine complaining of severe pain in his right...
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