Gary Fuwell v Mo Dept. of Corrections
Release Date: Aug 10, 2020 (Accident date Nov. 21, 2013)
Venue: Texas County
Plot Summary: The Commission affirms a PTD award against the employer for a back injury and single level fusion caused by a fall down some steps in a prison.
Robson - 15%
Comments: Claimant, 62, received a temporary award including a back fusion and is awarded PTD in a final award. Dr. Volarich concluded he was "last accident alone" despite prior neck surgery and prior back disability and "may" need treatment in the future due to hardware, and had to "rest" as needed. Vocational opinion indicated claimant's use of narcotics and lack of employment for 3 years were toxic to his ability to compete for work. Hughes felt he was unemployable due to "appearance" and "pace and performance" but not due to last accident alone.
ALJ Mahon found claimant was "compelling" in his testimony about the result of "violently" falling down some stairs, and followed Dr. Volarich's conclusion of "last accident alone" despite "significant" pre-existing disabilities which caused him to miss "a few weeks" each year. She notes claimant takes daily trazadone and likely developed severe adjacent level stenosis from "stress."
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