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
Arkansas Workers Compensation
Before the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission
June 6, 2019
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,
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.
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
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.
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.
OF THE CASE
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
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
#1, Arkansas Municipal League, contends all appropriate
benefits have been paid.
#2, Death and Permanent Total Disability Trust Fund, defers
to the outcome of litigation.
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.
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.
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...