After a lengthy appeals process, an administrative judge has denied an employee’s claim for workers’ compensations benefits, finding no evidence that the work related accident caused any injury to his back. The employer was successfully represented by Wilkins Patterson attorneys Sandra T. Doty and Nicholas D. Garrard.
At the initial hearing on the merits in 2013, the administrative judge found the claimant had sustained a 50% industrial loss of use due to injuries to his lower extremities. The ALJ also withheld ruling on the claimant’s back claim, and ordered an independent medical examination (IME) to determine whether his injury was compensable.
On appeal, the Full Commission found that the employer’s position was well-taken, and reduced the claimant’s lower extremity loss to 4%. The Commission also affirmed the ALJ’s order directing the claimant to undergo an IME. From there, the claimant appealed to the Mississippi Court of Appeals, and the employer/carrier filed a cross-appeal based on the Commission’s decision to affirm the IME order after the hearing on the merits had taken place.
Ultimately, the Court of Appeals determined that the Commission had not entered a final, appealable order, and remanded the case to the administrative judge for additional findings. Finally, on July 5, 2016, administrative judge Tammy Green Harthcock entered an order finding that the claimant’s back injury was not caused by his work related accident, and, therefore, denied him additional workers’ compensation benefits.