Appealed from the Office of Workers' Compensation Administration District 9 State of Louisiana. Docket No. 12-06645. Honorable Elizabeth C. Lanier, Office of Workers' Compensation Judge.
Joseph J. Weigand, Jr., Houma, LA, Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant, Betty Damron.
Kristine D. Smiley, Matthew W. Tierney, Baton Rouge, LA, Counsel for Defendants/Appellees, Affiliated Marine Supply/Cannata's Supermarket and Risk Management Resources.
BEFORE: GUIDRY, THERIOT, AND DRAKE, JJ.
[2014-0389 La.App. 1 Cir. 1]
Claimant, Betty Damron, appeals a judgment of the Office of Workers' Compensation (OWC), asserting that the OWC judge erred in finding that the claimant's disability was not related to the claimant's workplace accident. Finding the OWC judge's conclusions not to be clearly wrong, we affirm.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Cannata's Supermarket, Inc. employed Ms. Damron to work as a shopper, which duties required her to gather and box up various grocery items needed on offshore boats, rigs, and platforms. On February 27, 2012, while traversing a parking lot to re-enter her workplace after completing her lunch break, Ms. Damron, who was 68 years old at the time, tripped and fell on her left side. After being assisted up from her fallen position, Ms. Damron proceeded back into her workplace and clocked in.
Ms. Damron's job duties required a lot of walking, and because the pain in her left hip was radiating to her back the more she walked, she reported the accident to her supervisors, who, in turn, sent her to Dr. Kirk A. Dantin to receive medical treatment.
Dr. Dantin, a general practice physician, initially treated Ms. Damron with medication and released her to return to work on a light-duty status of no heavy lifting. When Ms. Damron still complained of increasing pain in follow-up visits, Dr. Dantin further modified her light-duty work status to limit walking to four hours and later 2-3 hours per day. Dr. Dantin also submitted a request to [2014-0389 La.App. 1 Cir. 2] have a MRI performed on Ms. Damron; however, the request was denied because Ms. Damron had not received any conservative care, such as a course of physical therapy. Thereafter, Ms. Damron commenced a regimen of physical therapy treatment.
On May 21, 2012, Ms. Damron was admitted to Terrebonne General Medical Center with complaints of headaches and vomiting. She was diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis and remained hospitalized for that condition until June 8, 2012. While in the hospital, Ms. Damron suffered two falls that both occurred on June 1, 2012. The first fall occurred when an aide attempted to help her stand in her hospital room. The second fall occurred in an effort to secure x-rays of Ms. Damron following the first fall. According to Ms. Damron, a man attempted to put her on a table for the x-ray to be performed, but he did not place her far enough onto the ...