No. 042340-01 (2007). Leanne Manzanero v. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center v. Caregroup, Inc.

Case Date:August 14, 2007
Massachusetts Workers Compensation 2007. No. 042340-01 (2007). Leanne Manzanero v. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center v. Caregroup, Inc DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTSBOARD NO. 042340-01Leanne Manzanero Employee Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Employer Caregroup, Inc. Self-insurerREVIEWING BOARD DECISION(Judges Horan, Costigan and Fabricant)APPEARANCESJ. Channing Migner, Esq., for the employee Peter P. Harney, Esq., for the self-insurerHORAN, J. Both parties appeal from a decision awarding the employee a closed period of § 34 benefits, and ongoing § 35 benefits, for an October 15, 2001 work-related injury. The self-insurer raises several issues on appeal.(fn1) The employee takes exception only to the judge's earning capacity finding. We affirm the decision. The parties presented their own medical evidence in this liability contest. See 452 Code Mass. Regs. § 1.10(7). The alleged industrial accident occurred while the employee was moving a patient. She suffered an injury to the left side of her neck, shoulder, and shoulder blades, and felt pain radiating down her left arm into her fingers. In 1998, the employee had undergone a cervical fusion at C5-6 for right-sided neck and arm pain. The employee had also received workers' _________ 1 The self-insurer raises issues on appeal regarding the application of G. L. c. 152, § 1 (7A). That statute provides, in pertinent part: If a compensable injury or disease combines with a pre-existing condition, which resulted from an injury or disease not compensable under this chapter, to cause or prolong disability or a need for treatment, the resultant condition shall be compensable only to the extent such compensable injury or disease remains a major but not necessarily predominant cause of disability or need for treatment. compensation benefits for a back and neck strain in 2000, but was working full time as of January, 2001.(fn2) (Dec. 6-7.) In his decision, the judge found the employee's work injury caused temporary total incapacity until September 1, 2003, and partial incapacity thereafter. (Dec. 8-9, 11.) The self-insurer's first two issues concern the causation standard applied by the judge. It maintains his causation findings are arbitrary and capricious. We disagree. Among others, the judge adopted portions of the medical opinions of Drs. Marc E. Eichler and Anthony R. M. Caprio. (Dec. 8-9.) Dr. Eichler opined the employee suffered from a traumatic right-sided C6-7 disc herniation, with left C7 root compression, and from a disruption (or non-fusion) of her pre-existing C5-6 fusion. He attributed these diagnoses to the October 15, 2001...

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