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Bowman v. Terrebonne Parish Consol. Gov't

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, First Circuit

December 23, 2014

JAMES BOWMAN
v.
TERREBONNE PARISH CONSOLIDATED GOV'T AND TERREBONNE PARISH RISK MANAGEMENT

Page 609

Appealed from the Office of Workers' Compensation Administration, District 9, State of Louisiana. Docket No. 13-06178. Honorable Elizabeth C. Lanier, Office of Workers' Compensation Judge.

Gregory S. Unger, Metairie, LA, Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant, James Bowman.

David B. Allen, Houma, LA, Counsel for Defendant/Appellee Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government.

BEFORE: GUIDRY, THERIOT, AND DRAKE, JJ.

OPINION

Page 610

[2014 0978 La.App. 1 Cir. 2] GUIDRY, J.

Claimant, James Bowman, III, appeals a judgment of the Office of Workers' Compensation (OWC) finding he failed to meet his burden of proof to relate his disabling injury to his workplace accident. Finding no manifest error in the OWC judge's conclusions, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On April 22, 2013, the claimant fell backwards to the ground while attempting to break up a fight between two male juvenile detainees[1] at the Terrebonne Parish Juvenile Detention Center. At the time of the accident, the claimant was working in the course and scope of his employment as a juvenile care associate. Several accident reports were completed for the incident. The claimant reported experiencing " some tightening" on his right side and " some discomfort" in his neck immediately following the incident. He was instructed by his supervisor, Lieutenant Renee Harris, to see Edward Davis, Jr., a paramedic who was on duty at the time of the incident. After seeing Mr. Davis, the claimant reported back to his post and completed working his shift for the night. The claimant continued to work without missing any days until July 2013.

On July 19, 2013, the claimant contacted Fay Giroir, the workers' compensation

Page 611

claims adjuster for the Department of Risk Management with the Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government, to inform her that he had been off work and that his absence from work may be due to the fall that occurred on April 22, 2013. After taking the claimant's statement and investigating the matter, Ms. Giroir decided to deny the claim based on a " lack of documentation of an injury occurring on and related to the fall of April 22, 2013."

The claimant filed a disputed claim for compensation with the OWC on [2014 0978 La.App. 1 Cir. 3] August 27, 2013. Following a hearing before an OWC judge on March 14, 2014, the claimant's disputed claim for compensation was dismissed with prejudice on May 19, 2014. The OWC judge found that the claimant did not meet his burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that his current medical condition was causally related to his ...


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