Chilcutt, 031821 ARWC, G503367

Docket NºWCC G503367
Case DateMarch 18, 2021
CourtKansas
KATHERINE CHILCUTT, EMPLOYEE CLAIMANT
SUMMIT HOUSE APARTMENTS, EMPLOYER RESPONDENT
TRAVELERS CASUALTY & SURETY COMPANY, CARRIER RESPONDENT
WCC No. G503367
Arkansas Workers Compensation
Before the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission
March 18, 2021
         Hearing before Administrative Law Judge O. Milton Fine II on February 4, 2021, in Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas.           Claimant pro se.           Respondents represented by Mr. Tod C. Bassett, Attorney at Law, Fayetteville, Arkansas.           Honorable O. Milton Fine, II Chief Administrative Law Judge.          STATEMENT OF THE CASE          On February 4, 2021, the above-captioned claim was heard in Little Rock, Arkansas. A prehearing conference took place on November 30, 2020. A prehearing order entered on December 1, 2020, pursuant to the conference was admitted without objection as “Commission Exhibit 1.” At the hearing, the parties confirmed that the stipulations, issues, and respective contentions were properly set forth in the order. Stipulations          At the hearing, the parties discussed the stipulations set forth in “Commission Exhibit 1.” They are the following, which I accept:
1. The Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission has jurisdiction over this claim.
2. The employee/employer relationship existed on or about January 1, 2015, and at all relevant times.
3. Respondents have controverted this claim in its entirety.
4. Claimant’s average weekly wage of $440.00 entitles her to compensation rates of $293.00/$220.00.
         Issues          At the hearing, the parties discussed the issues set forth in “Commission Exhibit 1.” The following were litigated:
1. Whether Claimant sustained a compensable injury.
2. Whether Claimant is entitled to reasonable and necessary medical treatment.
         All other issues have been reserved.          Contentions          The respective contentions of the parties read as follows:          Claimant:          1. Claimant contends that she started work for respondent employer in October 2014. A two-filtered mask was to have been provided to her; but this was not done. As a result, she suffered headaches and sinus infections from cleaning dumpsters at work.          Respondents:          1. Respondents contend that Claimant has been approved for Social Security disability benefits for a number of years. She has also been a Medicare beneficiary for a number of years. In her telephonic deposition that was taken in connection with her other claim against Respondents (G503368), she testified that she tries to work every year to supplement her income to the extent that the law allows. Claimant was hired by Respondent employer on November 26, 2014. Her alleged injury date for this particular respiratory claim is January 1, 2015. She reported a second claim against the same respondents on January 22, 2015 regarding an incident that allegedly caused injury to her fingers and wrists when she was cleaning the inside of an elevator and its doors closed. Claimant quit her job on January 29, 2015. Then, on March 9, 2016, she filed a Form AR-C concerning the alleged elevator incident through her counsel on that claim, Andy Caldwell. She has never been represented by counsel on the instant claim. Claim No. G503368 was in litigation for three (3) years before settling on January 19, 2020. One month later, on February 19, 2020, Claimant wrote the Commission, asking that the closed file on the instant claim be reopened.          2. The medical records show that Claimant has been a pack-a-day smoker for almost forty (40) years. She has a medical history that involves chronic respiratory illnesses such as shortness of breath, sinus infections, and symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. The Form AR-4 reflects a single $25.00 charge that was for the payment for medical records to discover the history of her respiratory problems from her personal general practitioner physician and allergist. These records revealed that she was actively treating for the same or similar symptoms throughout 2014 and leading up close in time to her employment with respondent employer. Medicare paid for the 2014 medical charges associated with the treatment of her personal medical condition; and it also paid for the disputed charges that were incurred subsequent to January 2015. In fact, CMS has advised Respondent carrier in writing that it agrees with its disputed charges, is not claiming any of its payments made as conditional payments, and is seeking no reimbursement from the carrier.          3. Claimant is not entitled to receive a hearing to seek the type of benefits that she is claiming in her prehearing questionnaire response. She has previously negotiated a number of settlements of claims from automobile accidents; and she is mistaken that there is a right to a jury trial in workers’ compensation cases. Even if the compensability of the claim could be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, it would be a medical-only claim with no other benefits that Claimant would be personally entitled to receive. There has never been an indemnity issue to consider...

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