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• Judicial •

Workers’ Compensation

April through June 2003

 

Court of Appeals

Case summaries published are those prepared by the WCCA

Moran v. United Parcel Service, 4/1/03 DOI: 2/7/01

Attorney Fees

• Judicial • Workers’ Compensation April through June 2003 Court of Appeals Case summaries published are

Where the employee was receiving wage loss benefits and the employee’s attorney was entitled to contingent fees based on those benefits, the compensation judge did not err by dismissing the employee’s petition for Roraff fees as premature.

Affirmed.

Anderson-Olson v. Waters of Park Point, 4/16/03 DOI: 7/17/90

Medical Treatment and Expense – Treatment Parameters

Where the employee conceded the requested MRI scan was not consistent with the treatment parameters and did not qualify for a departure under the treatment parameter rules, the compensation judge was not required to make findings applying the treatment parameters. Compare Martin v. Xerox Corp., 59 W.C.D. 509 (W.C.C.A. 1999).

Medical Treatment and Expense – Rare Case Exception

Where without an MRI scan, the employee would be unable to obtain a neurosurgical consultation previously ordered by a compensation judge, and where other evidence, including the employee’s testimony and the employee’s physicians’ treatment records supports the reasonableness and necessity of an MRI scan, the compensation judge’s determination that the employee’s request for an MRI scan was a rare case in which a departure from the treatment parameters was necessary to obtain proper treatment is not clearly erroneous or unsupported by substantial evidence.

Affirmed.

Summaries of Decisions Figueroa v. HealthEast Care Center , 4/16/03 DOI: 1/6/02 Causation Substantial evidence supports
Summaries of Decisions Figueroa v. HealthEast Care Center , 4/16/03 DOI: 1/6/02 Causation Substantial evidence supports

Summaries of Decisions

Figueroa v. HealthEast Care Center, 4/16/03 DOI: 1/6/02

Causation

Substantial evidence supports the findings of the compensation judge that the employee sustained a work- related injury to her left shoulder but did not have a work-related injury to the left elbow.

Affirmed.

Amo v. Curran’s Family Restaurant, 4/17/03 DOI: 12/30/01

Causation – Substantial Contributing Cause

Substantial evidence, including expert opinion, supported the compensation judge’s decision that the employee’s Dec. 30, 2001, work injury was merely a temporary aggravation of the employee’s pre-existing condition.

Affirmed.

Flaherty v. Globe Aviation Services, 4/17/03 DOI: 7/6/01, 7/7/01

Evidence – Burden of Proof – Credibility

Substantial evidence supports the compensation judge’s credibility determination and conclusion that the employee had failed to meet her burden of proof and establishing that she sustained a work injury.

Affirmed.

Johnson v. Apple Valley Health Care Center , 4/17/03 DOI: 1/5/90

Attorney Fees – Gruber

Where the employee continues to receive wage loss benefits, and there is a stream of benefits from which the employee’s attorney may be paid a fee, the compensation judge properly denied the employee’s attorney’s petition for fees pursuant to Gruber v. Independent Sch. Dist. #625, 57 W.C.D. 284 (W.C.C.A. 1997), for his representation of the employee in an action brought by the employer and insurer to discontinue permanent total disability benefits.

Penalties Minnesota Statutes §176.225, subd. 1(a)

The court declines to impose a penalty under Minnesota Statutes §176.225, subd. 1(a), sought initially by the employee on appeal, where the case involved an appeal from a decision of the Office of Administrative Hearing

D-2 COMPACT

• August 2003

Summaries of Decisions

Summaries of Decisions rather than an original petition to discontinue to this court. Whether a penalty

rather than an original petition to discontinue to this court. Whether a penalty is appropriate, in this case, is a factual determination best left to a compensation judge.

Affirmed as modified.

Legato v. Metropolitan Waste Control Commission, 4/17/03 DOI: 3/21/92, 1988, 1984

Causation – Substantial Contributing Cause

Substantial evidence, including expert opinion, supported the compensation judge’s decision that the employee’s cervical injury was merely temporary and did not cause, aggravate or accelerate the employee’s current cervical condition.

Affirmed.

Forslund v. STS Consultants , 4/21/03 DOI: 8/18/99, 6/16/98, 8/24/90, 11/28/87, 9/2/83

Causation – Substantial Contributing Cause

Substantial evidence, including expert opinion, support the compensation judge’s denial of benefits related to the employee’s cervical and thoracic conditions.

Medical Treatment and Expense – Reasonable and Necessary

Substantial evidence, including expert opinion, supported the compensation judge’s decision that certain treatment, including narcotic medication, was not reasonably required to treat the employee’s admitted low back condition.

Affirmed as modified.

Dwyer v. St. Mary’s Medical Center/Duluth Clinic, 4/23/03 DOI: _______

Evidence – Burden of Proof Evidence – Expert Medical Opinion Evidence – Medical Records Causation – Substantial Contributing Cause

Where it was clear from his memorandum that the compensation judge did not reject the treating physician’s opinion without weighing it against contrary medical evidence of record, and where that contrary medical evidence of record was substantial notwithstanding arguable foundational weaknesses in the only formal adverse expert opinion, the compensation judge’s conclusion that the employee did not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that her work activities were a substantial contributing factor in the development of her bilateral arthritic thumb condition did not constitute an improper dismissal of prima facie evidence.

Affirmed.

Summaries of Decisions rather than an original petition to discontinue to this court. Whether a penalty

August 2003

COMPACT

D-3

Summaries of Decisions Heinemann v. Independent School District #279 , 4/23/03 DOI: 10/12/95 Causation – Consequential
Summaries of Decisions Heinemann v. Independent School District #279 , 4/23/03 DOI: 10/12/95 Causation – Consequential

Summaries of Decisions

Heinemann v. Independent School District #279, 4/23/03 DOI: 10/12/95

Causation – Consequential Injury

Where the employee sought workers’ compensation benefits claiming, at least in part, that the medical condition in dispute was caused or substantially contributed to by the employee’s work activities, the compensation judge erred in applying the direct and natural consequences rule to find a consequential injury.

Causation – Gillette Injury

Where all of the evidence supports the conclusion that the employee sustained a Gillette injury to her right and left shoulders, the compensation judge’s finding of a consequential injury is vacated and the case remanded for findings regarding the date or dates of the Gillette injury or injuries.

Vacated in part and remanded.

Bryant v. Honeywell, Inc., 4/25/03 DOI: 8/11/95, 1/4/79

Causation – Substantial Evidence

Substantial evidence, including records of the employee’s treating physicians and the employee’s testimony, supports the compensation judge’s finding that the employee sustained a cervical spine injury on Jan. 4, 1979, and that the treatment received to the cervical area at Medical Advanced Pain Specialists and the Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology was causally related to her 1979 work injury.

Medical Treatment and Expense – Treatment Parameters

The treatment parameters may not be applied to deny payment for treatment rendered after the employer denied liability asserting the injury had resolved.

Medical Treatment and Expense – Reasonable and Necessary

Substantial evidence, including the adequately founded opinion of Dr. Dowdle, supports the compensation judge’s determination that treatment for the low back on Jan. 17 and 30, 2002, was reasonable and necessary to cure and relieve from the effects of the employee’s 1995 personal injury to the low back.

Affirmed.

D-4 COMPACT

• August 2003

Summaries of Decisions Dulon v. Andersen Corporation, 4/28/03 DOI: ________ Causation – Gillette Injury Substantial evidence
Summaries of Decisions
Dulon v. Andersen Corporation, 4/28/03
DOI: ________
Causation – Gillette Injury
Substantial evidence supports the determination of the compensation judge that the employee did not sustain a
Gillette injury to her cervical spine.
Affirmed.
Reggs, III v. Knutson Construction, 4/29/03
DOI: 3/9/02
Notice of Discontinuance – Temporary Total Disability
Termination of Employment – Misconduct
Where the employee’s post-injury drug screening, required by the employer’s drug and alcohol screening
policy, tested positive, and where the employee was discharged from employment due to his failure to attend
recommended chemical dependency treatment, also required by the employer’s policy, and where the employer
and insurer discontinued the employee’s ongoing temporary total disability benefits on the basis that the employee’s
conduct constituted misconduct that terminated his entitlement to temporary total disability benefits, and also
constituted a refusal of a job offer, the matter is remanded to the compensation judge for determination of
whether the employee demonstrated that his work-related disability is the cause of his inability to find or hold
new employment.
Notice of Discontinuance – Temporary Partial Disability
Where the employee objected to a discontinuance of temporary total disability benefits, where the issue to be
addressed at hearing was whether the employer and insurer could discontinue temporary total disability benefits,
and where the employee did not claim temporary partial disability benefits at this hearing, the compensation
judge erred by addressing an issue not presented to him and the court vacates the denial of temporary partial
disability benefits.
Vacated in part and remanded in part.
Schug v. City of Hibbing, 4/29/03
DOI: 8/26/98
Minnesota Statutes §176.102, subd. 11(c)
Where the employee had been paid benefits based upon 104 weeks of a combination of temporary total or
temporary partial compensation, and where the employee filed a request for retraining beyond the date when
he had been paid such benefits, the employee’s request for retraining is barred by an untimely filing of a request
for retraining.
Reversed.
August 2003
COMPACT
D-5
Summaries of Decisions Grover v. Honeywell, Inc. , 4/30/03 DOI: 4/13/01, 9/2/00 Causation – Substantial Evidence
Summaries of Decisions Grover v. Honeywell, Inc. , 4/30/03 DOI: 4/13/01, 9/2/00 Causation – Substantial Evidence

Summaries of Decisions

Grover v. Honeywell, Inc. , 4/30/03 DOI: 4/13/01, 9/2/00

Causation – Substantial Evidence

Substantial evidence, including records of the employee’s treating physician and the employee’s testimony, supports the compensation judge’s findings that the employee sustained a Gillette injury to her left and right shoulders as a result of her work activities.

Affirmed.

LaMoreaux v. Honeywell, Inc., 4/30/03 DOI: 2/9/01

Causation

Substantial evidence, including expert medical testimony, supports the compensation judge’s finding that the employee sustained a work-related injury to his left knee when he slipped and fell at work.

Practice and Procedure Intervenors

Where the employee had withdrawn his claim for medical expenses relating to any of the potential intervenors and only requested reimbursement for expenses related to parties who had intervened, the compensation judge erred by extinguishing the rights of potential intervenors who had not filed motions to intervene.

Affirmed in part and vacated in part.

Webber v. Senior Friend Associates, Inc., 5/1/03 DOI: 11/6/00

Medical Treatment and Expense – Treatment Parameters Minnesota Rules Part 5221.6100, subp. 2G

Where a statement of the treating physician was minimal but sufficient evidence that fusion surgery was being considered at the time that the discography was ordered, and where there was substantial evidence that the other three criteria of the rule were also satisfied, the compensation judge’s conclusion that all four of the criteria in Minnesota Rules Part 5221.6100, subp. 2G, for authorizing discography were satisfied was not clearly erroneous and unsupported by substantial evidence.

Medical Treatment and Expense – Reasonable and Necessary

Where there were abnormal findings on a discogram, and where there was expert medical opinion that the employee was not a candidate for surgical intervention but had a 60 to 70 percent chance of some improvement with IDET treatment, the compensation judge’s conclusion that the recommended IDET treatment was reasonable and necessary in treatment of the employee’s work injury was not clearly erroneous and unsupported

by substantial evidence.

D-6 COMPACT

• August 2003

Summaries of Decisions Practice and Procedure – Admission of Evidence Evidence – Credibility Where the compensation
Summaries of Decisions
Practice and Procedure – Admission of Evidence
Evidence – Credibility
Where the compensation judge listened to the employer and insurer’s arguments as to the relevance of testimony
regarding the employee’s conduct during a previous neck injury for purposes of gauging the employee’s credibility,
and where the judge concluded that that conduct and injury were too remote to be relevant to the low back
injury at issue, the compensation judge’s exclusion of cross-examination regarding the neck injury was not an
abuse of discretion, such as would require reversal of the judge’s ruling.
Practice and Procedure
Although the court continued to discourage the practice, there was no legal error in the judge’s nearly verbatim
adoption of proposed Findings and Order.
Affirmed.
Farden v. Garelick Steel Company, Inc., 5/6/03
DOI: 9/14/01
Causation – Aggravation
Substantial evidence, including expert opinion, adequately supported the judge’s decision that the employee’s
need for total hip replacement surgery was not causally related to his alleged work injury.
Affirmed.
Liguori v. United Parcel Service, 5/6/03
DOI: 7/10/95
Causation – Substantial Contributing Cause
Substantial evidence, including expert opinion, supported the compensation judge’s finding that the employee’s
disability and need for treatment were not causally related to her work injury.
Affirmed.
Molstad v. City of St. Louis Park, 5/6/03
DOI: 10/11/00
Jurisdiction – Subject Matter
Under the particular circumstances of this case, where no award on stipulation had been issued by the time the
compensation judge issued his decision, the judge had jurisdiction to decide the allegedly settled claim for
outstanding medical expenses.
Affirmed.
August 2003
COMPACT
D-7
Summaries of Decisions Schutte v. Independent School District #281, 5/8/03 DOI: 10/23/01 Medical Treatment and Expense
Summaries of Decisions
Schutte v. Independent School District #281, 5/8/03
DOI: 10/23/01
Medical Treatment and Expense – Reasonable and Necessary
Jurisdiction – Subject Matter
What is important in determining the compensability of medical treatment is not the diagnosis of potential
consequences of the injury but the fact that treatment against such consequences is incidental to, necessary as
a result of, and within the standard medical protocol for treatment of the work injury. Where the insurer did not
dispute the reasonableness and necessity of the treatment at issue, and where the judge reasonably concluded
that that treatment was causally related to the employee’s work injury, and where the treatment at issue was
within standard medical protocol in treatment of the employee’s injury, the compensation judge’s award of
payment for recommended testing for and protection against hepatitis B or HIV as a potential consequence of
the employee’s human bite injury was not clearly erroneous and unsupported by substantial evidence, regardless
of whether or not there might be coverage for such treatment under OSHA regulations, concerning which the
WCCA has no subject matter jurisdiction.
Affirmed.
Boelter v. Steven Scott Management, Inc., et al, 5/9/03
DOI: 7/28/00, 3/20/99, 4/25/97, 10/25/96
Causation – Cervical Injury
Substantial evidence, including the employee’s testimony, medical records and expert medical opinion, supported
the finding that the employee’s cervical condition was causally related to a pre-existing condition and not the
result of her work activities.
Affirmed.
Grangruth v. Custom Drywall, Inc., 5/14/03
DOI: 10/23/00
Vacation of Award – Mistake
The employee failed to establish cause based on a mutual mistake of fact regarding the nature and extent of the
employee’s injury, where the reports of all of the employee’s treating physicians were available and known to
both parties at the time of the mediated settlement, and there was no significant change in the employee’s
diagnosis or treatment following issuance of the mediation award.
Vacation of Award – Fraud
The employee failed to show evidence of an intentionally false representation of fact by the employer or insurer,
or evidence that the mediator was induced to act in reliance of a false representation of material fact. Nor does
the fact that the employee may have been motivated by financial hardship to enter into the mediation agreement
render the employee’s consent to the agreement ineffective on the facts of this case.
Petition to vacate denied.
D-8
COMPACT
• August 2003
Summaries of Decisions Kahlmorgan v. Rao Manufacturing, 5/14/03 DOI: 7/00 Maximum Medical Improvement – Substantial Evidence
Summaries of Decisions
Kahlmorgan v. Rao Manufacturing, 5/14/03
DOI: 7/00
Maximum Medical Improvement – Substantial Evidence
Substantial evidence, including treatment records and the opinion of the employee’s treating doctor, supported
the compensation judge’s decision that the employee had not reached maximum medical improvement as of
the date of an independent medical examination.
Permanent Partial Disability – Substantial Evidence
Minnesota Rules Part 5223.0370, subp. 4D
Substantial evidence supported the compensation judge’s decision that the employee was entitled to a 9
percent rating for her herniated cervical disc pursuant to Minnesota Rules Part 5223.0370, subp. 4D.
Calculation of Benefits – Permanent Partial Disability
Given the employee’s date of injury, the compensation judge applied the wrong table in calculating the benefits
payable for the employee’s permanent partial disability.
Calculation of Benefits – Concurrent Benefits
Minnesota Statutes §176.021, subd. 3
Minnesota Statutes §176.101, subd. 2a(b)
Given her award of temporary total disability benefits, the compensation judge erred in awarding the employee
payment of a lump sum for permanent partial disability. See Minnesota Statutes §176.021, subd. 3; Minnesota
Statutes §176.101, subd. 2a(b).
Affirmed in part and vacated in part.
Tollefson v. Schwickerts, 5/14/03
DOI: 4/28/99
Causation – Consequential Injury
Where the employee had a pre-existing low back condition at the time of his work injury in 1999, but was able
to return to work as a roofer, and later sustained another injury to his low back while not at work in 2001,
substantial evidence, including expert medical opinion, supports the compensation judge’s finding that the
employee did not establish medical causation between his 1999 work injury and his disability in 2001, or his
need for three-level fusion surgery in 2002.
Affirmed.
August 2003
COMPACT
D-9
Summaries of Decisions Decker v. Midwest Hearing, 5/20/03 DOI: 1/5/01 Practice and Procedure – Expedited Hearing
Summaries of Decisions
Decker v. Midwest Hearing, 5/20/03
DOI: 1/5/01
Practice and Procedure – Expedited Hearing
The compensation judge did not err in making a finding as to maximum medical improvement (MMI) where
one of three NOIDs sought discontinuance based on MMI, an administrative decision referred to that NOID,
and the employee filed an objection to that decision.
Practice and Procedure
The compensation judge erred in awarding temporary partial disability benefits where there was no clear claim
for temporary partial disability benefits at the hearing and where no evidence whatsoever was submitted
concerning the employee’s alleged employment.
Affirmed in part and vacated in part.
Erkkila v. Arrowhead Heating a/k/a Peter Bertucci, 5/20/03
DOI: 11/10/99
Permanent Partial Disability – Objective Findings
Evidence – Expert Medical Opinion
Minnesota Rules Part 5223.0390, subp. 3.C.(1)
Where the decision of the judge was reasonably supported by expert medical opinion and was also not
otherwise unreasonable in light of the medical record as a whole, there being substantial evidence to support a
finding of all three elements required under the rule, the compensation judge’s award of permanent partial
disability compensation for a single-level lumbar pain syndrome pursuant to Minnesota Rules Part 5223.0390,
subp. 3.C.(1), was not clearly erroneous and unsupported by substantial evidence.
Penalties
Minnesota Statutes §176.225, subd. 1
Minnesota Statutes §176.225, subd. 5
Where any accounting sloppiness on the part of the employer and insurer had ultimately resulted in an overpayment
of benefits to the employee that was greater than the $45.99 in overwithheld attorney fees allegedly due to be
released to the employee and claimed for over two years, where accounting for the overwithholding was
relatively difficult, any delay by the employer and insurer in releasing the sum claimed did not warrant a penalty
under Minnesota Statutes §176.225, subd. 1 or subd. 5.
Affirmed.
D-10
COMPACT
• August 2003
Summaries of Decisions Couet v. Nationwide Housing, et al, 5/21/03 DOI: 2/15/00, 7/10/95 Causation – Gillette
Summaries of Decisions
Couet v. Nationwide Housing, et al, 5/21/03
DOI: 2/15/00, 7/10/95
Causation – Gillette Injury
Substantial evidence supports the determination of the compensation judge that the employee sustained a
Gillette injury in the nature of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Affirmed.
French v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 5/27/03
DOI: 1/4/98
Attorney Fees – Practice and Procedure
Where the compensation judge issued an order determining attorney fees without a hearing even though the
employer had requested a hearing, remand is required.
Vacated and remanded.
German v. Iowa Beef Producers, et al, 5/28/03*
DOI: 7/19/01, 1/30/97
Exclusions from Coverage – Job Application
Where the employer’s query “Can you do the job?” reasonably did not constitute a clear inquiry specifically
into the diabetic employee’s physical condition or restrictions, and where the employee did, in fact, perform the
jobs in question for almost three years before being treated for an ulcer on the plantar aspect of his foot,
substantial evidence supported the compensation judge’s conclusion that the employer and insurer did not
prove that the diabetic employee’s representation that he could do to the job constituted a knowing and willful
false representation as to his physical condition, such as would bar his claim for benefits pursuant to the rule in
Jewison v. Frerichs Constr., 434 N.W.2d 259, 41 W.C.D. 541 (Minn. 1989).
Affirmed.
Rousseau v. USA Northland Directories, Inc., 5/29/03
DOI: 3/5/01
Causation – Aggravation
Substantial evidence, including expert opinion, supports the compensation judge’s decision that the employee’s
work-related motor vehicle accident aggravated the employee’s neck, back and bilateral hand/wrist conditions.
Practice and Procedure
The compensation judge erred in making a finding as to causation of the employee’s psychological condition
where there was no claim of psychological injury properly before him.
* This case is on appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
August 2003
COMPACT
D-11
Summaries of Decisions Wages Remand for reconsideration was required where the basis for the judge’s wage
Summaries of Decisions
Wages
Remand for reconsideration was required where the basis for the judge’s wage determination was not clear,
the judge did not explain why he had declined to deduct expenses from the employee’s earnings, and the judge
did not discuss the employer and insurer’s theory that the employee’s wage should be imputed from similar
employee’s wages given the employee’s brief work history.
Temporary Total Disability – Substantial Evidence
Substantial evidence, including medical and vocational opinion, supported the judge’s decision that the employee
had been totally disabled from work during the period claimed.
Penalties
Practice and Procedure
The compensation judge did not err in failing to award penalties where no penalty claim had been asserted
prior to hearing.
Affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded.
Lemke v. Independent School District #112 , 5/30/03
DOI: 11/6/01
Rehabilitation – Change of QRC
Where the employee and QRC have managed to work together regarding the employee’s return to work, the
employer has accommodated the employee’s return to work, and extensive rehabilitation and job search
efforts are not currently needed, the compensation judge’s denial of the employee’s request to change QRCs
was not clearly erroneous and was supported by substantial evidence.
Affirmed.
Dostal v. Dostal Electric, 6/3/03
DOI: 7/1/75
Attorney Fees – Roraff
Appeals – Record
Where there is no record of the proceeding on the employee’s claim for Roraff attorney fees, the compensation
judge’s Findings and Order must be vacated, and the case remanded to the judge for a hearing on the record.
Vacated and remanded.
D-12
COMPACT
• August 2003
Summaries of Decisions Burke v. Precision Engineering/SPM Dynacast, 6/4/03 DOI: 4/28/99, 4/12/96 Gillette injury – Date
Summaries of Decisions
Burke v. Precision Engineering/SPM Dynacast, 6/4/03
DOI: 4/28/99, 4/12/96
Gillette injury – Date of Injury
Causation – Substantial Contributing Cause
Where it was conceded that the employee had continued to perform work that was outside her restrictions
through the April 28, 1999, date of her Gillette injury, where neither insurer ultimately contested the occurrence
of that injury, and where the judge essentially concluded, reasonably, that each day that the employee worked
between late 1998 and April 28, 1999, contributed to her disability, the compensation judge’s finding on
remand that the employee’s work activities during final insurer’s two-week period of coverage immediately
prior to the date of the Gillette injury were a substantial contributing cause of that injury was not clearly
erroneous and unsupported by substantial evidence, notwithstanding the brevity of the final period of coverage.
Practice and Procedure – Admission of Evidence
Where it was apparent from a preceding Findings and Order that the judge had thoroughly reviewed evidence
submitted by the parties with regard to the occurrence of and date of a Gillette injury, where neither of the two
insurers had sought in that proceeding to take the deposition of the employee’s treating physiatrist, and where
the WCCA had affirmed the judge’s finding of a Gillette injury and remanded only for findings as to the
substantial contribution to that injury of work activities during a certain period of time, the compensation judge
did not err in refusing to allow the deposition of the physiatrist on remand.
Affirmed.
Karst v. Anoka Hennepin Independent School District #11, 6/5/03
DOI: 1/19/84
Attorney Fees – Roraff
Under the circumstances of this case, especially given the unappealed finding that the contingent fee was not
adequate to compensate the attorney’s attorney for his work on the employee’s behalf, the employee’s attorney
was entitled to $2,000 in Roraff fees, and the judge’s denial of the Roraff fee claim was reversed.
Reversed.
Gustafson v. Caterair International/LSG Sky Chef, 6/9/03
DOI: 8/26/97
Causation – Gillette Injury
Substantial evidence, including the employee’s testimony, medical records and expert medical opinion, supported
the finding that the employee’s right wrist condition was causally related to a pre-existing condition and not the
result of his work activities during the summer of 1997.
Affirmed.
August 2003
COMPACT
D-13
Summaries of Decisions Hassan v. Spherion Corporation, 6/9/03 DOI: 3/9/02 Appeals – Record Where the compensation
Summaries of Decisions
Hassan v. Spherion Corporation, 6/9/03
DOI: 3/9/02
Appeals – Record
Where the compensation judge made only one finding on the ultimate issue and failed to make findings regarding
essential elements of either the employee’s claims or the employer and insurer’s defenses, precluding meaningful
appellate review, the Findings and Order is vacated and remanded for further findings on the record.
Arising Out of and In the Course Of – Prohibited Act
Where there was no contention an improvident or incautious act by the employee created a hazard while
leaving work, the test for compensability set forth in Qualy v. Metropolitan Transit Comm’n, 42 W.C.D. 1040
(W.C.C.A. 1990) (relying on Elfelt v. Red Owl Stores, 296 Minn. 41, 206 N.W.2d 370, 26 W.C.D. 660
(1973)), is not applicable. Rather, the employer and insurer allege the employee was engaged in a prohibited
act. The matter must, therefore, be remanded for consideration applying the factors appropriate to such cases.
Vacated and remanded.
Duder v. McGlynn Bakeries, Inc., 6/11/03
DOI: 8/5/91
Permanent Partial Disability – Cervical Spine
Although the compensation judge failed to address the issue remanded to the court and argued by the parties,
that is, the employee’s permanent partial disability benefits for the cervical spine as a whole, the employee
conceded or stipulated that he was entitled to either 14 percent for his cervical stenosis or 19 percent for
compression fractures at two levels, but not both, and the judge’s award of 19 percent permanent partial
disability to the body as a whole is affirmed, as modified, based on the facts peculiar to this case.
Affirmed as modified.
Janikowski v. Central Parking Systems, et al, 6/11/03
DOI: 2/10/88, 1/19/87, 7/23/85
Vacation of Award – Substantial Change in Condition
Where the employee had offered no expert medical opinion that she had, since the date of the award, sustained
a rateable increase in permanent partial disability or experienced any substantial reduction in her ability to work
that was consequent to either of the work injuries at issue in her stipulation for settlement, the employee did not
show good cause to vacate her award on stipulation on grounds that she had sustained a substantial change in
condition since the date of the award.
Petition to vacate denied.
D-14
COMPACT
• August 2003
Summaries of Decisions Sletten n/k/a Damann v. Model Cleaners Linen Service, Inc., 6/11/03 DOI: 2/19/86 Vacation
Summaries of Decisions
Sletten n/k/a Damann v. Model Cleaners Linen Service, Inc., 6/11/03
DOI: 2/19/86
Vacation of Award – Substantial Change in Condition
The employee provided evidence of a significant change in diagnosis, in her ability to work, of additional
permanency, of more costly and extensive medical care than anticipated, and a causal connection between her
current disability and the work injury, sufficient to establish cause to vacate the Feb. 26, 1988 Award on
Stipulation.
Petition to vacate granted.
Levings v. Park Inn International, 6/13/03
DOI: 11/19/94, 4/7/94
Causation – Substantial Contributing Cause
Substantial evidence, including expert opinion, minimally but adequately supported the judge’s decision that
the employee’s November 1994 work injury substantially contributed to his need for total hip replacement
surgery.
Affirmed.
Woeste v. Interstate Brands Corporation, 6/13/03
DOI: 12/28/98
Permanent Partial Disability
Substantial evidence supports the determination of the compensation judge that the employee failed to establish
the necessary elements of the permanent partial disability schedule which would allow the permanent partial
disability claimed.
Affirmed.
Gustafson v. Roos-Frick, Inc., 6/23/03
DOI: 12/8/00
Notice of Discontinuance – Practice and Procedure
Minnesota Statutes §176.238
Minnesota Statutes §176.239
Where the self-insured employer failed to file a notice of intention to discontinue benefits and did not comply
with a compensation judge’s earlier Order on Discontinuance, the compensation judge did not err by concluding
that the employer improperly discontinued benefits and by awarding reinstatement of temporary total disability
benefits.
Affirmed in part, modified in part.
August 2003
COMPACT
D-15
Summaries of Decisions Camacho v. Lunda Construction Company, 6/24/03 DOI: 7/17/01 Causation Substantial evidence supports the
Summaries of Decisions
Camacho v. Lunda Construction Company, 6/24/03
DOI: 7/17/01
Causation
Substantial evidence supports the compensation judge’s denial of the self-insured employer’s petition to
discontinue benefits based on the judge’s findings that the employee had not yet fully recovered from his work
injuries, had continuing restrictions secondary to his personal injuries and the job offered by the employer to
the employee exceeded those restrictions.
Affirmed.
Meacham v. Industrial Finishing Services, 6/24/03
DOI: 10/8/01
Causation – Aggravation
Substantial evidence, including expert opinion, minimally supported the judge’s decision that the employee’s
work injury was merely a temporary aggravation of the employee’s pre-existing condition.
Wages
Substantial evidence, including the employee’s testimony as to the terms of his hire, supports the compensation
judge’s decision that the employee’s wage was not irregular.
Affirmed as modified.
Haugen v. Dietman Sanitation Service, 6/26/03
DOI: 3/11/86
Vacation of Award – Substantial Change in Condition
Where evidence as to the causal connection between the employee’s work injury and his current worsened
condition was equivocal, and where the causation issue was critical to this court’s resolution of the petition to
vacate, the matter was referred to the Office of Administrative Hearings for an evidentiary hearing and findings,
after which this court will make a final determination on the petition.
Petition to vacate referred to OAH for evidentiary hearing.
Anderson v. The Salvation Army, 6/27/03
DOI: 12/16/98
Permanent Partial Disability
Substantial evidence, including expert medical opinion and the employee’s testimony, supports the compensation
judge’s finding that the employee’s permanent partial disability of the right knee and low back were causally
related to the employee’s work injury.
D-16
COMPACT
• August 2003

Permanent Total Disability

Summaries of Decisions

Permanent Total Disability Summaries of Decisions Where the employee’s permanent partial disability is casually related to

Where the employee’s permanent partial disability is casually related to the employee’s work injury, the compensation judge did not err by finding that the employee’s permanent total disability was causally related to the employee’s work injury.

Practice and Procedure

Where the findings and order are supported by the record, the compensation judge’s adoption of a party’s proposed findings and order almost verbatim is not reversible error per se.

Affirmed, as modified.

Permanent Total Disability Summaries of Decisions Where the employee’s permanent partial disability is casually related to

August 2003

COMPACT

D-17

• Judicial •

Minnesota

Supreme Court

April through June 2003

 

Case summaries published are those prepared by the WCCA

• Judicial • Minnesota Supreme Court April through June 2003 Case summaries published are those prepared

• Lance Cloud v. Leech Lake Housing Authority, and Commerce and Industry with claims administered by AIG Claim Services, Inc., and Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry/Vocational Rehabilitation Unit, and Institute for Low Back and Neck Care, Intervenors, C6-03-37, March 26, 2003

Decision of the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals filed Dec. 11, 2002, affirmed without opinion.

• Alta Kingbird v. Anderson Fabrics, Inc. and Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance, CX-03- 39, March 27, 2003

Decision of the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals filed Dec. 13, 2002, affirmed without opinion.

• Jacqueline S. Busch v. Advanced Maintenance and State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, Viking Foods and State Fund Mutual Insurance Company, and Center for Diagnostic Imaging, Institute for Low Back and Neck Care, Corestar Health Plan, Intervenors, and Special Compensation Fund, C9-02-1480, April 24, 2003

Syllabus (by the court)

  • 1. The determination of controlling event is a legal conclusion which follows from factual findings that an injury is either a new, separate injury or a consequential injury, a recurrence, or a mere temporary aggravation.

  • 2. The law in effect on the date of the new, separate injury determines the amount and period of an injured employee’s compensation.

Reversed and remanded.

Edwin a Lowell v. Lee Stamping and Chubb & Son, and Lee Stamping and Federated Mutual Insurance Company, and Special Compensation Fund, C9-03-212, April 29, 2003

Decision of the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals filed Jan. 6, 2003, affirmed without opinion.

Summaries of Decisions • Dale A. Ruter v. Minnesota Department of Corrections, Self-Insured, and Minnesota Special
Summaries of Decisions
• Dale A. Ruter v. Minnesota Department of Corrections, Self-Insured, and Minnesota
Special Compensation Fund, C9-03-226, April 29, 2003
Decision of the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals filed Jan. 17, 2003, affirmed without opinion.
• Richard O. Walker, Sr., Deceased Employee, by Lucille Walker v. Boise Cascade
Corporation, Self-Insured, and Boise Cascade Corporation, and Employers Insurance
of Wausau, and Medicare, Intervenor, C7-03-337, April 29, 2003
Decision of the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals filed Feb. 10, 2003, affirmed without opinion.
• William Monson v. White Bear Mitsubishi and Western National Insurance Company,
CX-03-235, June 12, 2003
Syllabus (by the court)
Newly discovered evidence and mutual mistake of fact warrant reopening a stipulated settlement.
Reversed and remanded.
August 2003
COMPACT
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