In re Compensation of Edwards, 050719 ORWC, 18-01621

Docket Nº:WCB 18-01621, 18-01119
Case Date:May 07, 2019
71 Van Natta 506 (2019)
In the Matter of the Compensation of JACK L. EDWARDS, Claimant
WCB Nos. 18-01621, 18-01119
Oregon Worker Compensation
May 7, 2019
          Dibartolomeo Law Office PC, Claimant Attorneys           Wallace Klor Mann Capener, Defense Attorneys           Reviewing Panel: Members Lanning and Curey.           ORDER ON REVIEW          The self-insured employer requests review of those portions of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Somers’s order that: (1) found that claimant’s disputed medical services were directed to his accepted right hip fracture/prosthesis; and (2) awarded contingent penalties, attorney fees, and costs. On review, the issues are medical services, penalties, and attorney fees.[1] We reverse in part and modify in part.          FINDINGS OF FACT          We adopt the ALJ’s “Findings of Fact” with the following summary.          In 1980, claimant sustained a compensable right hip injury when he had a logging accident. (Ex. 1). The claim was accepted for a dislocated right hip and pelvis fracture, among other conditions. (Ex. 45).          In 1983, claimant underwent a right hip fusion, which required further surgeries. (Ex. 10-6-8). In the mid-1990s, he had the right hip fusion converted to a total arthroplasty (total hip replacement). (Exs. 10-2, -9, 11-1).          [71 Van Natta 507] In September 2017, claimant sought treatment for a two-week history of flu-like symptoms, a heart murmur, and right hip pain. (Exs. 16A, 17). Blood cultures confirmed the presence of streptococcus that “could have led to a strep endocarditis and seeding his right hip.” (Ex. 23). Dr. Askew, an orthopedic surgeon, opined that emergency debridement of the right hip prosthesis was indicated due to the increasing risk of a “chronic devastating infection of his implant.” (Ex. 21-2). Claimant wanted to proceed to prevent damage to his hip arthroplasty. (Id.) Dr. Askew surgically irrigated and debrided the right hip prosthesis. (Ex. 22). Post-operatively, claimant was placed on intravenous antibiotics. (Exs. 23, 25). The discharge note detailed that claimant had “sepsis with bacteremia due to streptococcus viridans” treated with IV ceftriaxone and a “right septic hip prosthesis infection” treated with irrigation and debridement of the prosthesis with drain. (Ex. 28-1).          In October 2017, Dr. Nanson, an orthopedist, diagnosed a right hip infection and inflammatory reaction “due to internal right hip prosthesis,” and referred claimant to Dr. Crislip, an infectious disease specialist. (Ex. 30-3).          In November 2017, Dr. Crislip opined that the infection was likely endocarditis that “seized” claimant’s hip. (Ex. 32-2). He based his opinion on claimant’s symptoms of fatigue that preceded his hip symptoms “by a significant period of time.” (Id.)          In December 2017, claimant requested that the employer modify its acceptance to include new/omitted medical conditions of: (1) septic arthritis of the right hip; (2) leukosytosis due to sepsis and right hip infection; (3) acute right hip infection; (4) septic right prosthetic hip associated with streptococcal septicemia; (5) infected right total hip arthroplasty, acute; (6) hematogenous spread of streptococcus to the right hip; and (7) right infection and inflammatory reaction due to internal right hip prosthesis. (Ex. 34). Claimant also requested that the employer pay for medical services related to the claimed conditions and his compensable injury. (Id.)          In January 2018, Dr. Leggett, an infectious disease...

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