Tabron, 060519 ARWC, G707877

Docket Nº:WCC G707877
Case Date:June 05, 2019
Court:Kansas
 
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DONNA TABRON, Employee CLAIMANT
OZARK REGIONAL TRANSIT, Employer RESPONDENT
MUNICIPAL LEAGUE WCT, Carrier RESPONDENT
WCC No. G707877
Arkansas Workers Compensation
Before the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission
June 5, 2019
         Hearing before ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE GREGORY K. STEWART in Springdale, Washington County, Arkansas.           Claimant represented by JASON M. HATFIELD, Attorney, Springdale, Arkansas.           Respondents represented by ASIA CRUZ, Attorney, No. Little Rock, Arkansas.           GREGORY K. STEWART, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE.          STATEMENT OF THE CASE          On May 15, 2019, the above captioned claim came on for a hearing at Springdale, Arkansas. A pre-hearing conference was conducted on March 6, 2019, and a pre-hearing order was filed on that same date. A copy of the pre-hearing order has been marked Commission's Exhibit #1 and made a part of the record without objection.          At the pre-hearing conference the parties agreed to the following stipulations:
1. The Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission has jurisdiction of the within claim.
2. The employee/employer/carrier relationship existed the parties on May 12, 2017.
3. The claimant sustained a compensable injury to her cervical spine on May 12, 2017.
4. The claimant was earning sufficient wages to entitle her to compensation at the weekly rates of $283.00 for total disability benefits and $212.00 for permanent partial disability benefits.
         At the pre-hearing conference the parties agreed to litigate the following issues:
1. Payment of medical for November 8, 2018 cervical surgery.
2. Additional medical treatment.
3. Temporary total disability benefits from June 28, 2018 through a date yet to be determined (including June 28, 2018 through November 8, 2018 when claimant was receiving permanent partial disability benefits).
4. Attorney’s fee.
         The claimant contentions are contained in her pre-hearing questionnaire which is attached to Commission Exhibit #1 as Exhibit A.          The respondents contend the claimant has received all appropriate medical and indemnity benefits to date. Claimant reached maximum medical improvement for her compensable injury on July 11, 2018 and is not entitled to temporary total disability benefits from July 12, 2018 to November 7, 2018. The November 8, 2018 surgery was not reasonably necessary in connection with the injury received by the claimant and she is not entitled to temporary total disability benefits from November 8, 2018 to a date to be determined.          From a review of the record as a whole, to include medical reports, documents, and other matters properly before the Commission, and having had an opportunity to hear the testimony of the witness and to observe demeanor, the following findings of fact and conclusions of law are made in accordance with A.C.A. §11-9-704:          FINDINGS OF FACT & CONCLUSIONS OF LAW          1. The stipulations agreed to by the parties at a pre-hearing conference conducted on March 6, 2019 and contained in a pre-hearing order filed that same date are hereby accepted as fact.          2. Claimant has met her burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that she is entitled to additional medical treatment for her compensable cervical spine injury. This includes surgery performed by Dr. Evans on November 8, 2018.          3. Claimant has failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that she is entitled to temporary total disability benefits from June 28, 2018 through November 7, 2018. Claimant has proven by a preponderance of the evidence that she is entitled to temporary total disability benefits beginning November 8, 2018, and continuing through a date yet to be determined.          4. Respondent has controverted claimant’s entitlement to all unpaid indemnity benefits.          FACTUAL BACKGROUND          The claimant is a 60-year-old woman who worked for the respondent as a driver. Claimant suffered an admittedly compensable injury to her cervical spine on May 12, 2017 when she stopped her bus at a railroad track and the bus was struck from behind by another vehicle. Claimant testified that after the incident she had a twinge down the left side of her neck down into her shoulder blade. She also testified that she was lightheaded and dizzy. Claimant completed her work that day, but two...

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