MICHELLE K. JOHNSON, Employee/Respondent,
ST. PAUL EYE CLINIC, P.A. and SFM MUT. INS. CO., Employer-Insurer/Appellants,
BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF MINN. AND BLUE PLUS, Intervenor.
Minnesota Workers Compensation
Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals
January 18, 2019
TREATMENT & EXPENSE – REASONABLE & NECESSARY.
Substantial evidence in the record supports the compensation
judge’s award of the proposed right shoulder surgery as
that medical treatment is reasonable, necessary, and causally
related to the work injury.
– EXPERT MEDICAL OPINION. The compensation judge did
not abuse her discretion in relying on portions of expert
medical opinion offered where the medical opinions relied on
were consistent with the judge’s factual findings
regarding the employee’s condition.
W. Bosch, Bosch Law Firm Ltd., St. Paul, Minnesota, for the
T. Scharfenberg, Lynn, Scharfenberg & Hollick,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the Appellants.
Determined by: Patricia J. Milun, Chief Judge, David A.
Stofferahn, Judge, Sean M. Quinn, Judge
Compensation Judge: Miriam P. Rykken
PATRICIA J. MILUN, Chief Judge.
employer and insurer appeal from the compensation
judge’s determination, which relied on the opinion of
the employee’s treating physician, Dr. Peter Daly, and
on the opinion of independent medical examiner, Dr. Paul
Wicklund, that the proposed right shoulder surgery is
reasonable, necessary, and causally related to the admitted
February 9, 2016, work injury.
employee, Michelle Johnson, is a Certified Ophthalmic
Assistant at the St. Paul Eye Clinic. In this position, the
employee sets up equipment for the administration of eye
examinations. On February 9, 2016, the employee was
positioning equipment using her right arm when she heard a
pop in her right shoulder and felt immediate pain. She was
able to finish her shift, but felt increasing pain through
the evening. The following morning, the employee sought
medical attention. On examination, swelling was visible in
her right shoulder. Tenderness over the supraspinatus and in
the region of the glenohumeral joint, acromioclavicular joint
and the coracoid process were noted by the examiner. The
employer and insurer were provided notice of the injury and
February 17, 2016, the employee underwent an MRI of her right
shoulder, which revealed a small, full-thickness tear of the
supraspinatus tendon. Peter Daly, M.D., performed a surgical
repair of the tendon on March 8, 2016. The employee reported
continuing pain in her right shoulder after the surgery. Her
shoulder pain caused sleep interruption and impaired some
activities of daily living (ADLs). The employee was released
to light duty work on April 5, 2016. She also began physical
therapy to strengthen her shoulder. On April 21, 2016, the
employee experienced pain and worsening of her shoulder
during physical therapy. The employee displayed limited range
of motion (ROM) and complained of decreased strength and
intermittent tingling running to her fingers following the
follow-up examination with Dr. Daly on July 14, 2016, the
employee complained of continued right shoulder pain and
limited ROM. On July 20, 2016, the employee underwent an MRI
which showed the expected surgical alterations to the
employee’s right shoulder, along with tendonitis and
bursal inflammation. On August 3, 2016, the employee...