Petrie v. Todd County, 110918 MNWC, WC18-6176

Docket Nº:WC18-6176
Case Date:November 09, 2018
TAMI L. PETRIE, Employee/Appellant,
No. WC18-6176
Minnesota Workers Compensation
Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals
November 9, 2018
         STATUTES CONSTRUED – MINN. STAT. § 176.011, SUBD. 15(d); CAUSATION – PSYCHOLOGICAL CONDITION. Minn. Stat. § 176.011, subd. 15(d), does not require that the diagnosis of PTSD by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist include an opinion regarding causation of that condition.          PRACTICE & PROCEDURE. The compensation judge erred by not addressing a contested issue of fact and law that had been submitted at the hearing.           Daniel C. Swenson, Robert Wilson & Associates, P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the Appellant.           Katie H. Storms, Lind, Jensen, Sullivan, and Peterson, P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the Respondents.           Determined by: Gary M. Hall, Judge, Patricia J. Milun, Chief Judge, Deborah K. Sundquist, Judge.           Compensation Judge: Miriam P. Rykken          Reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded.           OPINION           GARY M. HALL, Judge.          The employee appeals the compensation judge’s denial of her claim of post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of altercations while working as a correctional officer for Todd County. We reverse in part, vacate in part, and remand for further consideration.          BACKGROUND          Tami L. Petrie, the employee, has worked for Todd County, the self-insured employer, as a correctional officer since 2003. She testified that she had been involved in three altercations with inmates while working for the employer, one in 2006 and two in 2016. On September 12, 2016, an inmate lunged at her as she entered a cell with a tray, requiring the employee to restrain her and pin her down, then place her in restraints. The next incident, two days later, involved an inmate trying to grab medications from the employee and push his way out of a cell. After the altercation resolved, the cell was searched and a weapon made from a pair of eyeglasses was found hidden in a hole of the cell wall. The employee testified that the same inmate had previously been found with another weapon made out of a piece of a table. On September 20, 2016, the employee filed a First Report of Injury stating that the employee had “wrestled with inmate to get [medications] from him and was hit across her back.” (Ex. 14, see also Finding 13.)          On September 22, 2016, the employee began attending therapy sessions with Patti Venekamp, M.S., L. P., a licensed psychologist, through an employee assistance program. The employee was taken off work as of that date. During the five sessions the employee had with this therapist through October 20, 2016, the employee reported experiencing difficulty with sleeping and anxiety from these work incidents.          On October 24, 2016, Kelsey Landis, M.S., at Psychotherapeutic Resources evaluated the employee, who reported flashbacks, avoidance, hypervigilance, being easily startled, worry, anxiety, and fear due to the incidents. The employee was treated with cognitive behavior therapy and supportive therapy by Pamela Becker, M.A., who opined that the employee met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a report dated January 12, 2017.          The employee also treated with Susan K. Rutten Wasson, M.D., her primary care physician, on September 28, 2016. Dr. Rutten Wasson noted the employee’s increasing symptoms of anxiety, agoraphobia, and panic attacks, and opined that the employee “clearly” had PTSD. (Ex. H.)          Beginning in February 2017, the employee underwent therapy sessions with Greta Kramer, M.S., at Milestone Counseling, Inc. The employee reported the September 2016 incidents and symptoms of depression, anxiety, flashbacks, intrusive recollections, avoidance, diminished interests, feeling detached, persistent negative beliefs and emotions, hypervigilance, and irritability. Ms. Kramer diagnosed PTSD and depression.          On January 9, 2017, the employee filed a claim petition listing the nature of her injuries as PTSD and a back injury, and seeking...

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