Workers' Compensation Case Affirmed by Court of Appeals

May 04, 2016.

The Mississippi Court of Appeals recently affirmed a decision by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, which found that an employee’s requested treatment and continued use of medication were unrelated to his workplace accident seven years earlier.

Sandra T. Doty and Nicholas D. Garrard of Wilkins Patterson Smith Pumphrey & Doty in Jackson, MS successfully represented the employer and insurance carrier throughout the litigation, including the appeal.   In its decision, the Court of Appeals also resolved a jurisdictional question regarding finality of orders and exhaustion of administrative remedies at the Commission level.

Finding that the Commission had “total and complete” jurisdiction over the employee’s claim, and that the administrative judge is simply a “facility” of the Commission, the Court of Appeals ruled the Commission had authority to consider the employer and carrier’s petition for review, despite the administrative judge’s failure to rule on a previously filed Motion to Reconsider.

The Court also found that the Commission’s decision to reverse the administrative judge regarding payment for ongoing treatment and medication was supported by substantial evidence.

Judge Jack L. Wilson authored the 8-2 en banc decision.  Click here to read the full opinion.