In re Claim Ristic, 032020 COWC, 5-085-791-002

Docket Nº:W.C. 5-085-791-002
Case Date:March 20, 2020
Court:Colorado
 
FREE EXCERPT
IN THE MATTER OF THE CLAIM OF: VESNA RISTIC, Claimant,
v.
OASIS OUTSOURCING INC d/b/a ELKCO, Employer,
and
AMERICAN ZURICH INSURANCE COMPANY ESIS, Insurer, Respondents.
W.C. No. 5-085-791-002
Colorado Workers Compensation
Industrial Claim Appeals Office
March 20, 2020
          LAW OFFICE OF OTOOLE & SBARBARO PC, Attn: JOHN A SBARBARO ESQ, (For Claimant)           POLLART MILLER LLC, Attn: CHRISTIN BECHMANN ESQ, (For Respondents)          FINAL ORDER          The respondents seek review of an order of Administrative Law Judge Felter (ALJ) dated September 23, 2019, that determined the claimant was permanently and totally disabled We affirm the ALJ’s order.          This matter went to hearing on the issues of permanent partial disability, conversion to a whole person rating, and permanent total disability benefits. After hearing the ALJ entered factual findings that for purposes of review can be summarized as follows. The claimant is 61 years old, comes from Serbia and has limited English language skills. The claimant obtained a high school degree in Serbia. Since arriving the in the United States 20 years ago, the claimant has performed two jobs, a trimmer of clothing and a housekeeper.          On August 13, 2018, while working as a cleaner, the claimant sustained an admitted injury to her right shoulder and low back when she took the garbage out to a dumpster. While placing the garbage in the dumpster the claimant experienced immediate pain in her right shoulder and low back.          The claimant underwent care with Dr. Yancey and Dr. Primack at Concentra and was eventually placed at maximum medical improvement (MMI) on February 12, 2019, and given a 15 percent upper extremity rating. The claimant was also given permanent working restrictions of lifting up to 10 pounds frequently, 25 pounds occasionally and no repetitive overhead lifting with the right arm. The respondents filed a final admission of liability admitting for the impairment rating. The claimant timely filed an application for hearing seeking a whole person rating and permanent total disability benefits.          At the respondents’ request, the claimant underwent an IME with Dr. Mitchell. In Dr. Mitchell’s opinion, the claimant did not have any permanent impairment or permanent work restrictions as a result of the work injury. Instead, the claimant had a right shoulder strain and somatoform disorder and any work restrictions were due to her degenerative condition. The ALJ rejected Dr. Mitchell’s opinion and found the opinions and work restrictions of Dr. Yancey and Dr. Primack to be more credible and persuasive.          The claimant also underwent a vocational evaluation with Katie Montoya at the respondents’ request. Ms. Montoya testified, consistent with her report, that in her opinion there was work available in the claimant’s commutable job market. The ALJ rejected Ms. Montoya’s opinion in favor of the more persuasive opinion...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP