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Deloach v. FARA Insurance Services

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit

December 10, 2014

MILDRED DELOACH
v.
FARA INSURANCE SERVICES, ET AL

APPEAL FROM THE OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION, DISTRICT 02, PARISH OF RAPIDES, DOCKET NO. 13-08230. HONORABLE JAMES L. BRADDOCK, PRESIDING.

AFFIRMED.

W. Jay Luneau, Graham M. Brian, Luneau Law Office, Alexandria, LA, ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, Mildred Deloach.

James D. " Buddy" Caldwell, Attorney General, Leanne L. Bridges, Assistant Attorney General, Alexandria, LA, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, State of Louisiana through FARA Insurance Services.

Court composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, Marc T. Amy and John E. Conery, Judges. Amy, J., concurs and assigns reasons. Conery, J., concurs in the result.

OPINION

Page 738

[14-408 La.App. 3 Cir. 2] COOKS, Judge.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Claimant, Mildred Deloach, sustained a work-related head injury on October 6, 2009, while employed at the LSU Agricultural Center. FARA Insurance Services, the third party administrator of Claimant's workers' compensation claim, accepted her claim as compensable and she was approved for her choice of physician, Dr. Arsham Naalbandian, a neurologist.

Claimant treated with Dr. Naalbandian from November, 2009 through November 22, 2010, complaining of primarily of headaches and problems with her vision. In his report issued on November 22, 2010, Dr. Naalbandian opined that Claimant " neurologically has done well" and there " has been no recurrence of headaches." There was still a complaint of blurred vision and " some visual loss" to the left side. Dr. Naalbandian concluded that Claimant's " [p]ossible history of post-traumatic headaches. . . seem to have resolved." As to her complaints of visual loss, Dr. Naalbandian noted she was being treated by " Dr. Lyons who is her primary ophthalmologist in Shreveport regarding her history of ocular histoplasmosis and hopefully will have his updated reports." Dr. Naalbandian scheduled Claimant " for re-evaluation and followup within the next two or three months."

Following the November 22, 2010 visit, Claimant did not return to see Dr. Naalbandian again until March of 2013. Dr. Naalbandian requested an Electroencephalogram (EEG), a Brain Stem Auditory Evoked Response test and Visual Evoked Response test be performed on Claimant, which came back normal. Claimant notes, despite the two and one-half year gap between visits with Dr. Naalbandian, FARA approved the continued visits and tests recommended by Dr. Naalbandian.

[14-408 La.App. 3 Cir. 3] On October 14, 2013, Claimant requested an evaluation with Dr. Gerald Leglue, a physiatrist. On November 19, 2013, Claimant filed a Form 1008 disputed claim, requesting to see Dr. Leglue and asserting

Page 739

entitlement to penalties and attorney fees. On December 3, 2013, Claimant filed a Motion for Expedited Hearing pursuant to La.R.S. 23:1121, ...


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