Monday, January 30, 2017

Commission affirms back strain award

Tyler v. SSM
2017 MOWCLR Lexis 6
(Jan. 20, 2017).   Carlisle

The claimant alleges she hurt her back putting a bag in a trashcan.  The employer stipulated that claimant sustained injuries and its doctor assessed a minimal amount of permanent partial disability.

The employer litigated the case on causation and nature and extent of disability. 

The 60-year old claimant treated for a back strain with "exacerbation" of degenerative disc disease and stenosis and continued to report symptoms after treatment with medication, therapy and injection.   She stated physical therapy caused more symptoms. Her expert, a retired doctor who based his opinion on a records review, assigned multiple different diagnoses. 

Her MRI identified no finding of any nerve impingement.  The experts disputed whether or not she had piriformis syndrome.

The Commission affirmed an award of 10% without further opinion.  The treating physiatrist rated 1% and apportioned the vast majority of her disability to prior degenerative changes.  Claimant's expert contended she had 30% new disability.