Workers Compensation Panel Opinions

Format: 08/31/2014
Format: 08/31/2014
Cecelia Teague v. Tecumseh Products Company
02S01-9509-CV-00081
Authoring Judge: Joe H. Walker, III, Judge
Trial Court Judge: Hon. Julian P. Guinn,
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. _ 5-6-225 (e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Employer appeals from an award by the trial court of thirty percent (3%) permanent partial disability to both upper extremities of employee. Findings of Fact Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of the correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. _ 5-6-225 (e)(2). There were no written findings of fact by the trial court. The statement of evidence contained no findings stated by the trial court at trial, and the transcript contains no written findings of fact, other than a finding of permanent partial disability of thirty percent to both upper extremities. This tribunal is required to conduct an independent examination of the record to determine where the preponderance of the evidence lies.
Henry County Workers Compensation Panel 07/15/96
Cecelia Teague v. Tecumseh Products Company
02S01-9509-CV-00081
Authoring Judge: Joe H. Walker, III, Judge
Trial Court Judge: Hon. Julian P. Guinn,
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. _ 5-6-225 (e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Employer appeals from an award by the trial court of thirty percent (3%) permanent partial disability to both upper extremities of employee. Findings of Fact Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of the correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. _ 5-6-225 (e)(2). There were no written findings of fact by the trial court. The statement of evidence contained no findings stated by the trial court at trial, and the transcript contains no written findings of fact, other than a finding of permanent partial disability of thirty percent to both upper extremities. This tribunal is required to conduct an independent examination of the record to determine where the preponderance of the evidence lies.
Henry County Workers Compensation Panel 07/15/96
Lamonte Pearson v. Day International, Inc, d/b/a Colonial Rubber Works, Inc. and Reliance Insurance Company
02S01-9503-CV-00023
Authoring Judge: Janice M. Holder, Special Judge
Trial Court Judge: Hon. J. Steven Stafford, Judge
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Worker's Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. _ 5-6- 225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The sole issue for review is the trial court's determination that an amended complaint filed against the Second Injury Fund was barred by the statute of limitations. For the following reasons, we affirm the decision of the trial court. On January 26, 1989, Lamonte Pearson ("Mr. Pearson") injured his back in an automobile accident that was not work related. Mr. Pearson's lawsuit was apparently unsuccessful at trial and no damages were awarded. On March 4, 1991, he again injured his back in the course of his employment with Day International, d/b/a Colonial Rubber Works, Inc. and was treated by the same physician. A complaint for worker's compensation benefits was timely filed on April 15, 1991. The complaint alleged that Mr. Pearson "suffered, and will continue to suffer, temporary total, temporary partial and possibly permanent total disability as a result of this work related injury." His prayer for relief requested an award of "such further temporary total, temporary partial, permanent partial, or permanent total disability and medical expenses to which this Court finds him entitled . . ." A motion to amend the complaint was filed on April 24, 1992, and leave to amend was granted on the same date. An amended complaint adding the Second Injury Fund was filed on May 29, 1992, more than one (1) year after the work related injury. The amended complaint further alleges that Mr. Pearson had previously sustained a permanent physical disability capable of supporting a workers' compensation award if it had arisen out of and in the course of employment and that he had become permanently and totally disabled through the subsequent work related injury. The Second Injury Fund asserted the bar of the statute of limitations. During his deposition in this case, Mr. Pearson's treating physician found him to have a permanent partial disability of 9% to the body as a whole as a result of the non-work related incident and 6% to the body as a whole as a result of the work related incident, or a 12% combined impairment rating under the AMA Guidelines. The trial court found Mr. Pearson to be 1% disabled and apportioned 45% of the award to Colonial and 55% to the Second Injury Fund; the court ruled that recovery against the Second 2
Dyer County Workers Compensation Panel 07/11/96
Lamonte Pearson v. Day International, Inc, d/b/a Colonial Rubber Works, Inc. and Reliance Insurance Company
02S01-9503-CV-00023
Authoring Judge: Janice M. Holder, Special Judge
Trial Court Judge: Hon. J. Steven Stafford, Judge
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Worker's Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. _ 5-6- 225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The sole issue for review is the trial court's determination that an amended complaint filed against the Second Injury Fund was barred by the statute of limitations. For the following reasons, we affirm the decision of the trial court. On January 26, 1989, Lamonte Pearson ("Mr. Pearson") injured his back in an automobile accident that was not work related. Mr. Pearson's lawsuit was apparently unsuccessful at trial and no damages were awarded. On March 4, 1991, he again injured his back in the course of his employment with Day International, d/b/a Colonial Rubber Works, Inc. and was treated by the same physician. A complaint for worker's compensation benefits was timely filed on April 15, 1991. The complaint alleged that Mr. Pearson "suffered, and will continue to suffer, temporary total, temporary partial and possibly permanent total disability as a result of this work related injury." His prayer for relief requested an award of "such further temporary total, temporary partial, permanent partial, or permanent total disability and medical expenses to which this Court finds him entitled . . ." A motion to amend the complaint was filed on April 24, 1992, and leave to amend was granted on the same date. An amended complaint adding the Second Injury Fund was filed on May 29, 1992, more than one (1) year after the work related injury. The amended complaint further alleges that Mr. Pearson had previously sustained a permanent physical disability capable of supporting a workers' compensation award if it had arisen out of and in the course of employment and that he had become permanently and totally disabled through the subsequent work related injury. The Second Injury Fund asserted the bar of the statute of limitations. During his deposition in this case, Mr. Pearson's treating physician found him to have a permanent partial disability of 9% to the body as a whole as a result of the non-work related incident and 6% to the body as a whole as a result of the work related incident, or a 12% combined impairment rating under the AMA Guidelines. The trial court found Mr. Pearson to be 1% disabled and apportioned 45% of the award to Colonial and 55% to the Second Injury Fund; the court ruled that recovery against the Second 2
Dyer County Workers Compensation Panel 07/11/96
Billy Clevinger v. Burlington Motor Carriers, Inc.
03S01-9508-CV-00092
Authoring Judge: Penny J. White, Justice
Trial Court Judge: Hon. Ben K.
This workers' compensation appeal from the Hawkins County Circuit Court has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 5-6-225(e) (3) (1995 Supp.) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. I. The plaintiff, Billy Clevinger ("employee"), is a resident of Hawkins County, Tennessee. The defendant, Burlington Motor Carriers, Inc., ("employer"), is a trucking company with its principal place of business in Indiana. The employee, who was hired in Tennessee, worked for the employer as truck driver. On December 1, 1993, the employee was driving one of the employer's trucks from Kentucky to Arkansas. While traveling through Tennessee on the way to Arkansas, he was involved in a single vehicle accident. The employee was hospitalized for a short time due to injuries sustained in the accident. He then returned to his home in Hawkins County. On December 28, 1993, the employee signed a document sent to him by the employer's claim adjustor entitled "Agreement to Compensation of Employee and Employer." The form contained the heading "Indiana Workers' Compensation Board, . . . Indianapolis, Indiana." The document included information concerning the date of injury, the type of injury (bruised left arm and strain of lower back), the place of injury, the employee's average weekly wage, and the amount the employee would be receiving as temporary total disability. The form also contained the declaration that " [w]e (employee and employer) have reached an agreement in regards to compensation for the injury sustained by said employee . . . ." The form further indicated that the "terms of the agreement . . . shall be payable . . . until terminated in accordance with the provisions of the Indiana Workers' Compensation/Occupational Diseases Acts." The employee 2
Hawkins County Workers Compensation Panel 07/10/96
Billy Clevinger v. Burlington Motor Carriers, Inc.
03S01-9508-CV-00092
Authoring Judge: Penny J. White, Justice
Trial Court Judge: Hon. Ben K. Wexler
This workers' compensation appeal from the Hawkins County Circuit Court has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 5-6-225(e) (3) (1995 Supp.) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. I. The plaintiff, Billy Clevinger ("employee"), is a resident of Hawkins County, Tennessee. The defendant, Burlington Motor Carriers, Inc., ("employer"), is a trucking company with its principal place of business in Indiana. The employee, who was hired in Tennessee, worked for the employer as truck driver. On December 1, 1993, the employee was driving one of the employer's trucks from Kentucky to Arkansas. While traveling through Tennessee on the way to Arkansas, he was involved in a single vehicle accident. The employee was hospitalized for a short time due to injuries sustained in the accident. He then returned to his home in Hawkins County. On December 28, 1993, the employee signed a document sent to him by the employer's claim adjustor entitled "Agreement to Compensation of Employee and Employer." The form contained the heading "Indiana Workers' Compensation Board, . . . Indianapolis, Indiana." The document included information concerning the date of injury, the type of injury (bruised left arm and strain of lower back), the place of injury, the employee's average weekly wage, and the amount the employee would be receiving as temporary total disability. The form also contained the declaration that " [w]e (employee and employer) have reached an agreement in regards to compensation for the injury sustained by said employee . . . ." The form further indicated that the "terms of the agreement . . . shall be payable . . . until terminated in accordance with the provisions of the Indiana Workers' Compensation/Occupational Diseases Acts." The employee 2
Hawkins County Workers Compensation Panel 07/10/96
Robin Sloan v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.
01S01-9509-GS-00157
Authoring Judge: Joe C. Loser, Jr., Special Judge
Trial Court Judge: Hon. Barry Medley,
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employer contends that the award of disability benefits is excessive; and the employee contends the trial court erred in finding that she did not suffer a disabling work-related neck injury. The panel has concluded that the judgment should be modified as provided herein. On July 5, 1992, the claimant, Robin Sloan, strained her back at work. She reported the injury to her employer and was referred to Dr. G. Jackson Jacobs, who referred her to Dr. David Bratton, an orthopedic surgeon, who, on July 15, 1992, diagnosed lumbar strain and released her to light duty for two weeks. She saw Dr. Daniel Phillips on October 23, 1992 and two other occasions. Dr. Phillips found no permanent disability to the claimant's back or neck caused by a work-related injury. Her attorney referred her to Dr. Richard Fishbein. Dr. Fishbein, on the strength of the history related to him by the claimant, agreed with the original diagnosis and assessed a permanent impairment of five percent to the whole body. The claimant is thirty-four years old witha high school educationand an associates degree in education from Motlow State Community College. She has experience in office work, as a restaurant manager and in business. She quit working for the employer shortly after the accident and was not working at the time of the trial. She was able to work, according to Dr. Bratton's note on and after July 15, 1992. The trial judge awarded permanent partial disability benefits on the basis of thirty-five percent to the body as a whole and temporary total disability benefits from July 5, 1992 to January 7, 1993. Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). This tribunal is required to conduct an independent examination of the record to determine where the preponderance of the evidence lies.
Warren County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Robin Sloan v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.
01S01-9509-GS-00157
Authoring Judge: Joe C. Loser, Jr., Special Judge
Trial Court Judge: Hon. Barry Medley,
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employer contends that the award of disability benefits is excessive; and the employee contends the trial court erred in finding that she did not suffer a disabling work-related neck injury. The panel has concluded that the judgment should be modified as provided herein. On July 5, 1992, the claimant, Robin Sloan, strained her back at work. She reported the injury to her employer and was referred to Dr. G. Jackson Jacobs, who referred her to Dr. David Bratton, an orthopedic surgeon, who, on July 15, 1992, diagnosed lumbar strain and released her to light duty for two weeks. She saw Dr. Daniel Phillips on October 23, 1992 and two other occasions. Dr. Phillips found no permanent disability to the claimant's back or neck caused by a work-related injury. Her attorney referred her to Dr. Richard Fishbein. Dr. Fishbein, on the strength of the history related to him by the claimant, agreed with the original diagnosis and assessed a permanent impairment of five percent to the whole body. The claimant is thirty-four years old witha high school educationand an associates degree in education from Motlow State Community College. She has experience in office work, as a restaurant manager and in business. She quit working for the employer shortly after the accident and was not working at the time of the trial. She was able to work, according to Dr. Bratton's note on and after July 15, 1992. The trial judge awarded permanent partial disability benefits on the basis of thirty-five percent to the body as a whole and temporary total disability benefits from July 5, 1992 to January 7, 1993. Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). This tribunal is required to conduct an independent examination of the record to determine where the preponderance of the evidence lies.
Warren County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Mary Charmagne Perdue v. National Healthcorp, L.P., Or National Health Corporation, Or Nhc, Inc., And/Or Columbia Health Care
01S01-9508-CH-00142
Authoring Judge: Joe C. Loser, Jr., Special Judge
Trial Court Judge: Hon. Jim T. Hamilton,
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employee or claimant, Perdue, contends (1) that the evidence preponderates against the trial judge's finding that she failed to give the required notice of a claimed injury by accident occurring on January 23, 1993, (2) that the said injury was suffered within the course and scope of employment with the defendant, and (3) that she is entitled to compensation for an injury on April 3, 1994. The panel concludes that the judgment awarding benefits for an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the claimant's employment in August of 1994 should be affirmed. The claimant is twenty-nine years old and has an associates degree in nursing. At all material times she was employed by the employer, Columbia, as a registered nurse. She claims to have strained her lower back in January of 1993 at work but continued to work. She did not give any written notice of the injury to the employer and there is conflicting evidence as to whether she verbally reported it. In April of 1993 she saw a chiropractor. On April 17, 1993, she noticed numbness in her hip and leg and began seeing Dr. Jeffrey Adams, who diagnosed a herniated lumbar disk. She did not tell the doctor that the condition was a result of an injury at work, according to the doctor, who performed corrective surgery. On August 5, 1993, the claimant was grabbed around the neck by a patient and pulled down to the patient's bed. Dr. Adams diagnosed a herniated disk at the same location as the previous one and performed a second corrective surgery. She has not returned to work.1 The trial judge found that, as to the claimed January injury, the claimant had failed to carry the burden of proof that her superiors at work had actual notice of her injury or that a work-related injury had occurred on that date.2 Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). Where the trial judge has seen and heard the witnesses, especially if issues of credibility and weight to be given oral testimony are involved, considerable deference must be accorded those circumstances on review. McCaleb v. Saturn Corp., 91 S.W.2d 1 The claimant had another surgery in 1994 by a different surgeon. 2 The trial judge did award medical and hospital benefits for the August injury, from which no issue has been raised in this appeal. 2
Maury County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Mary Charmagne Perdue v. National Healthcorp, L.P., Or National Health Corporation, Or Nhc, Inc., And/Or Columbia Health Care
01S01-9508-CH-00142
Authoring Judge: Joe C. Loser, Jr., Special Judge
Trial Court Judge: Hon. Jim T. Hamilton,
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employee or claimant, Perdue, contends (1) that the evidence preponderates against the trial judge's finding that she failed to give the required notice of a claimed injury by accident occurring on January 23, 1993, (2) that the said injury was suffered within the course and scope of employment with the defendant, and (3) that she is entitled to compensation for an injury on April 3, 1994. The panel concludes that the judgment awarding benefits for an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the claimant's employment in August of 1994 should be affirmed. The claimant is twenty-nine years old and has an associates degree in nursing. At all material times she was employed by the employer, Columbia, as a registered nurse. She claims to have strained her lower back in January of 1993 at work but continued to work. She did not give any written notice of the injury to the employer and there is conflicting evidence as to whether she verbally reported it. In April of 1993 she saw a chiropractor. On April 17, 1993, she noticed numbness in her hip and leg and began seeing Dr. Jeffrey Adams, who diagnosed a herniated lumbar disk. She did not tell the doctor that the condition was a result of an injury at work, according to the doctor, who performed corrective surgery. On August 5, 1993, the claimant was grabbed around the neck by a patient and pulled down to the patient's bed. Dr. Adams diagnosed a herniated disk at the same location as the previous one and performed a second corrective surgery. She has not returned to work.1 The trial judge found that, as to the claimed January injury, the claimant had failed to carry the burden of proof that her superiors at work had actual notice of her injury or that a work-related injury had occurred on that date.2 Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). Where the trial judge has seen and heard the witnesses, especially if issues of credibility and weight to be given oral testimony are involved, considerable deference must be accorded those circumstances on review. McCaleb v. Saturn Corp., 91 S.W.2d 1 The claimant had another surgery in 1994 by a different surgeon. 2 The trial judge did award medical and hospital benefits for the August injury, from which no issue has been raised in this appeal. 2
Maury County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Treva Milan v. Quebecor Printing (U.S.A.) Group and Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company
01S01-9601-CV-00005
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Trial Court Judge: Hon. James E. Walton
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Plaintiff injured her arms and wrists while working for defendant in April 1994. The trial judge awarded her 35 percent permanent partial disability to each upper extremity. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. Plaintiff was working on an assembly line, feeding magazine pages into a sorter, when a wooden pallet slid onto her arms, causing pain. She was placed on light duty and wore wrist splints for at least a month, but when she returned to full duty, she had a recurrence of pain, numbness and tingling. Dr. W. Cooper Beazley, orthopedic surgeon, diagnosed plaintiff with overuse syndrome in both hands and told her to consider changing to a job where she would not have to perform rapid, repetitious work with her hands. However, he did not assess any medical impairment under AMA Guidelines because the Guides do not provide for a permanent impairment rating for overuse syndrome. Dr. Lloyd Walwyn, orthopedic surgeon, conducted an independent medical examination including objective testing. He diagnosed cumulative trauma disorder with mild bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and assessed 28 percent permanent partial impairment to each upper extremity. The employer made efforts to put plaintif f back to work with her post-injury limitations, but there was no work available at the factory that she was able to do. Plaintiff is 26 years old with a high school education and work experience mostly in factory work. The trial judge found that the injury plaintiff sustained reduced her ability to compete in the open job market because it permanently affected her use of her hands. He also found her testimony that she has pain to be convincing.
Montgomery County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Treva Milan v. Quebecor Printing (U.S.A.) Group and Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company
01S01-9601-CV-00005
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Trial Court Judge: Hon. James E. Walton
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Plaintiff injured her arms and wrists while working for defendant in April 1994. The trial judge awarded her 35 percent permanent partial disability to each upper extremity. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. Plaintiff was working on an assembly line, feeding magazine pages into a sorter, when a wooden pallet slid onto her arms, causing pain. She was placed on light duty and wore wrist splints for at least a month, but when she returned to full duty, she had a recurrence of pain, numbness and tingling. Dr. W. Cooper Beazley, orthopedic surgeon, diagnosed plaintiff with overuse syndrome in both hands and told her to consider changing to a job where she would not have to perform rapid, repetitious work with her hands. However, he did not assess any medical impairment under AMA Guidelines because the Guides do not provide for a permanent impairment rating for overuse syndrome. Dr. Lloyd Walwyn, orthopedic surgeon, conducted an independent medical examination including objective testing. He diagnosed cumulative trauma disorder with mild bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and assessed 28 percent permanent partial impairment to each upper extremity. The employer made efforts to put plaintif f back to work with her post-injury limitations, but there was no work available at the factory that she was able to do. Plaintiff is 26 years old with a high school education and work experience mostly in factory work. The trial judge found that the injury plaintiff sustained reduced her ability to compete in the open job market because it permanently affected her use of her hands. He also found her testimony that she has pain to be convincing.
Montgomery County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Sherry Lawrence v. Erin Truckways, Ltd. d/b/a Digby Truck Line, Inc., and The Travelers Insurance Company
01S01-9512-CV-00216
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Trial Court Judge: Hon. Walter C. Kurtz,
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The trial court awarded plaintiff 1% permanent vocational disability. Defendants challenge the trial court's finding of permanent impairment and the trial court's finding of 1% permanent vocational disability. We find that the evidence preponderates in favor of a finding of a compensable permanent injury. We find, however, that the evidence preponderates against an award of 1% permanent vocational disability. W e find the evidence preponderates in favor of a finding of 75% permanent partial vocational disability. We so modify the judgment of the trial court and, as modified, affirm it. Plaintiff, 41, has a tenth-grade education. Her past work history includes work as a waitress, bartender, factory worker and a truck driver. On October 3, 199, plaintiff and her husband were driving for defendant when plaintiff fell from the truck cab as she was trying to open a partially stuck passenger door. She was diagnosed with a sprain to the right upper back and right neck and admitted to the hospital for an unstable diabetic condition. She was also visited by a psychiatrist while at the hospital for depression and sleeplessness. Since her injury, plaintiff has developed chronic pain in her neck and back and eventually in her lower back. She never returned to work for the defendant but, in 1992, she began working as a bartender. She quit after ten months due to pain. Plaintiff was first treated by Dr. Gurumurthy Reddy, an orthopedic surgeon, who diagnosed a neck and upper back strain and noted muscle spasm and limitation of range of motion of the neck. He last saw her on January 31, 1991, when he diagnosed myofascial neck and upper back pain and released her to return to work on a trial basis. Plaintiff was eventually treated by Dr. Dennis Aguirre, an anesthesiologist. He diagnosed fibromyalgia in August 1993. He testified that fibromyalgia is a 2
Lawrence County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96