2008-073. Oumar P. Bah Appellant vs. Trident Seafoods Corp. and Liberty Northwest Insurance Corp. Appellees.

Case DateFebruary 27, 2008
CourtAlaska
Alaska Workers Compensation Decisions 2008. Workers' Compensation Appeals Commission 2008-073. Oumar P. Bah Appellant vs. Trident Seafoods Corp. and Liberty Northwest Insurance Corp. Appellees Alaska Workers' Compensation Appeals Commission Oumar P. Bah, Appellant, vs. Trident Seafoods Corp. and Liberty Northwest Insurance Corp., Appellees.Decision No. 073 February 27, 2008AWCAC Appeal No. 07-027 AWCB Decision No. 07-0134 AWCB Case No. 200510402Final Decision Appeal from Alaska Workers' Compensation Board Decision No. 07-0134, issued on May 23, 2007, by the southcentral panel at Anchorage, Alaska, Janel Wright, Designated Chair, Janet Waldron, Member for Industry.(fn1) Appearances: Oumar P. Bah, pro se, appellant. Nina Mitchell, Holmes, Weddle and Barcott, P.C., for appellees, Trident Seafoods Corp. and Liberty Northwest Insurance Corp.(fn2) This decision has been edited to conform to technical standards for publication.Commissioners: John Giuchici, Stephen T. Hagedorn,Kristin Knudsen, Chair.By: Stephen Hagedorn, Appeals Commissioner. This appeal concerns the board's decision denying the employee, Oumar P. Bah, a board-ordered Second Independent Medical Evaluation ("SIME"). The board found that there was no qualifying medical dispute under AS 23.30.095(k) and no significant gap in the medical evidence under AS 23.30.110(g). We conclude that the board had substantial evidence to support its findings that the conditions required by AS 23.30.095(k) and AS 23.30.110(g) were not met. Therefore, we conclude that the board did not abuse its discretion by denying Bah's request for an SIME. 1. Factual background. Bah, at age 59, worked on a fish-processing ship for about two weeks for Trident Seafoods before complaining that he could not bear the pain in his back and hands. He filed a notice of injury in Ohio, where he had returned to live, and in Alaska. He had last worked for Trident on July 8, 2005. Bah first sought treatment from Dr. Steve Parsons and Dr. Robert Stephenson, D.O. After a brief course of physical therapy, Dr. Parsons released Bah to return to work with restrictions imposed from July 13, 2005 to July 22, 2005.(fn3) X-rays taken by Dr. Parsons of Bah's low back were negative.(fn4) Dr. Parsons referred Bah to Dr. Stephenson, who after examination, found that Bah's injuries were resolving. Dr. Stephenson indicated that Bah's back was objectively normal and he had no additional recommendations other than to complete the physical therapy and home exercises ordered by Dr. Parsons.(fn5) Beginning in November 2005, Bah saw Dr. Whitfield who diagnosed a lumbar strain and ordered facet blocks.(fn6) Dr. Whitfield did not believe an MRI was necessary.(fn7) By February 22, 2006, Dr. Whitfield found that Bah was medically stable but that he could not return to his former employment.(fn8) Both Dr. Parsons and Dr. Whitfield noted that Bah was not fit for the heavy labor required for fish processing before he experienced the pain in his lower back and hands.(fn9) ...

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