Nguyen, 060619 ARWC, G110502

Docket Nº:G110502
Case Date:June 06, 2019
Court:Kansas
 
FREE EXCERPT
JIM M. NGUYEN, EMPLOYEE CLAIMANT
CITY OF SHERWOOD, EMPLOYER RESPONDENT #1
ARKANSAS MUNICIPAL LEAGUE, INSURANCE CARRIER/TPA RESPONDENT #1
DEATH & PERMANENT TOTAL DISABILITY TRUST FUND RESPONDENT #2
No. G110502
Arkansas Workers Compensation
Before the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission
June 6, 2019
         Hearing before Administrative Law Judge Elizabeth W. Hogan on March 29, 2019, in Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas.           Claimant represented by Mr. Michael W. Boyd, Attorney at Law, Magnolia, Arkansas.           Respondent #1 represented by Ms. Asia Cruz, Attorney at Law, Little Rock, Arkansas.           Respondent #2 represented by Mr. David L. Pake, 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 wage loss or permanent total disability benefits in excess of the impairment rating and attorney’s fees.          At issue is the extent of the claimant’s lost earning capacity, Ark. Code Ann. §11-9-102(7)(ii)(a); Ark. Code Ann. §11-9-522, Ark. Code Ann. §11-9-505, Ark. Code Ann. §11-9-519; controversion and attorney’s fees, Ark. Code Ann. §11-9-715; and the Fund’s liability, Ark. Code Ann. §11-9-525.          After reviewing the evidence impartially, without giving benefit of the doubt to either party, Ark. Code Ann. §11-9-704, I find the claimant is entitled to wage loss but is not permanently and totally disabled.          STATEMENT OF THE CASE          The parties stipulated to an employer-employee-carrier relationship on October 27, 2011, at which time the claimant sustained a compensable injury at a compensation rate of $300.00/$225.00. Medical expenses, temporary total disability benefits (from October 28, 2011, to June 10, 2012, and November 16, 2015, to April 3, 2016), a twelve percent (12%) impairment rating to the body as a whole, and wage loss equivalent to thirty percent (30%) have been accepted. The Medical Cost Containment Division issued a Change of Physician Order on February 4, 2013, from Dr. Seale to Dr. Hart. This claim has been the subject of prior conferences, with Orders issued on August 14, 2013; November 25, 2014; July 13, 2016; July 3, 2017; November 13, 2018; and November 15, 2018.          The claimant injured his back in a motor vehicle accident (MVA), necessitating two (2) surgeries. The claimant seeks payment of permanent total disability benefits and attorney’s fees.          Respondent #1, Arkansas Municipal League, contends all appropriate benefits have been paid.          Respondent #2, Death and Permanent Total Disability Trust Fund, defers to the outcome of litigation.          The following were submitted without objection and comprise the evidence of record: the parties’ prehearing questionnaires and exhibits contained in the two-volume transcript, which includes the depositions of Dr. Shahim (taken December 9, 2013) and Dr. Seale (taken December 9, 2013). The depositions had to be included in the transcript as they were not separately bound.          The claimant was the only witness to testify at the hearing. He is very thin with stooped shoulders and he walked stiffly. The injury affects the claimant’s balance and he uses a cane occasionally (although not at the hearing) and steadies himself by leaning against walls or holding onto furniture. The claimant came to the U.S. from Vietnam in 1982. He said he could speak some English (with a pronounced accent) but cannot read an English newspaper.          The claimant, age 60 (date of birth: January 8, 1959), has a fifth grade education (although the rehabilitation report shows a tenth grade education). His work history includes manual labor, construction, and restaurant work. These jobs all involve heavy lifting and prolonged standing. The claimant worked for the respondent-employer for six and a...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP