Davis v. Central Moloney, Inc., 042619 ARWC, G602577

Docket Nº:CLAIM G602577
Case Date:April 26, 2019
CLAIM No. G602577
Arkansas Workers Compensation
Before The Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission
April 26, 2019
          Hearing before Administrative Law Judge Elizabeth W. Hogan on February 15, 2019, in Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas.           Claimant represented by Ms. Sheila F. Campbell, Attorney at Law, North Little Rock, Arkansas.           Respondents represented by Ms. Karen H. McKinney, Attorney at Law, Little Rock, Arkansas.           ELIZABETH W. HOGAN, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE.          ISSUES          A hearing was conducted to determine the claimant’s entitlement to payment of additional medical treatment, additional temporary total disability benefits, additional anatomical impairment, and attorney’s fees.          At issue is the reasonable necessity of medical expenses, the extent of the healing period, the validity of the impairment rating, and whether or not the claimant has sustained a compensable mental injury.          After reviewing the evidence impartially, without giving benefit of the doubt to either party, Ark. Code Ann. §11-9-704, I find the evidence does not preponderate in favor of the claimant.          STATEMENT OF THE CASE          The parties stipulated to an employee-employer-carrier relationship on March 7, 2016, at which time the claimant sustained a compensable scheduled injury at a compensation rate of $605.00/$454.00. Medical expenses, temporary total disability benefits (from April 6, 2016, to February 7, 2017, and from May 16, 2017, to October 10, 2017), and a three percent (3%) impairment rating have been accepted. On April 11, 2017, the claimant changed physicians from Dr. Grynwald to Dr. Norton.          The claimant contends she remains symptomatic with swelling in her hand that prevents her from lifting and holding objects. She seeks additional medical treatment and temporary total disability benefits from October 10, 2017, to September 21, 2018. Additionally, the claimant contends she has developed depression and anxiety as a result of her compensable physical injury. She seeks payment of medical treatment and temporary total disability benefits (limited to twenty-six [26] weeks).          The respondents contend all appropriate medical expenses have been paid. The claimant has been released by Drs. Norton and Roman at maximum medical improvement. Dr. Roman opined the claimant was entitled to a zero percent (0%) impairment for reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). Respondents further contend the claimant cannot meet the elements of proof under Ark. Code Ann. §11-9-113 for a mental illness.          The following were submitted without objection and comprise the evidence of record: the parties’ prehearing questionnaires and exhibits contained in the transcript, along with the deposition of Dr. Simmie Armstrong, Jr., incorporated by reference. After the hearing, the respondents introduced a signed Form AR-N acknowledging the claimant was advised of her change of physician rights. The claimant had no objection.          The following witnesses testified at the hearing: the claimant, and safety manager, George Mosely. The claimant was emotionally distraught at the hearing.          The claimant, age 47 (date of birth: January 21, 1972), has a criminal record and history of a head-on collision in December 2017. She has applied for Social Security Disability and is awaiting a hearing. Her work history includes factory jobs, but she now relies on the support of family. She had worked for the respondent-employer for five (5) years, but she has not looked for work since the accident.          The claimant explained that her job duties required her to use different air drills weighting between twenty and thirty (20-30) pounds and perform repetitive tasks on one hundred (100) small and large tanks per day. When her hand locked up, she dropped a drill and went to the nurse’s station. She saw her family physician, Dr. Armstrong, on March 8, 2016, with the permission of her employer and applied for leave under FMLA.          The employer sent her to Dr. Grynwald, who diagnosed mild early onset carpal tunnel syndrome, De Quervain’s Syndrome, and trigger finger. Surgery was performed on May 30, 2016, for De Quervain’s Syndrome and trigger finger release. She stated she was still symptomatic with pain and a lack of grip strength in her hand.          Dr. Grynwald referred the claimant to Dr. Lovett for treatment of complex regional pain syndrome. The claimant underwent a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE), which was valid, and the claimant was released with a three percent (3%) impairment and permanent restrictions.          The claimant obtained a change of physician to Dr. Norton...

To continue reading