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National Fire Union Ins. Co. v. State Worker's Comp. Second Injury Board

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, First Circuit

December 23, 2014

NATIONAL FIRE UNION INSURANCE COMPANY
v.
STATE OF LOUISIANA WORKER'S COMPENSATION SECOND INJURY BOARD

Order Filed: May 14, 2015

On Appeal from the Nineteenth Judicial District Court, In and for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana. No. C498990. Honorable Todd Hernandez, Judge Presiding.

James D. " Buddy" Caldwell, Attorney General, Karl L. Scott, Meridith J. Trahant, Assistant Attorneys General, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Counsel for Defendant/Appellant, Workers' Compensation Second Injury, Board.

Jennifer M. Sullivan, Metairie, Louisiana, Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellee, National Union Fire Insurance Company.

BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McCLENDON, AND HIGGINBOTHAM, JJ. Whipple, C.J. concurs in the result.

OPINION

Page 586

[2014 0631 La.App. 1 Cir. 2] McCLENDON, J.

The Louisiana Workers' Compensation Second Injury Board (the Board) seeks review of the district court's judgment granting a workers' compensation carrier's motion for summary judgment and finding that all required elements for reimbursement under the Second Injury Fund have been met. For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On April 2, 2001, Jamesell Williams was injured in the course and scope of his employment with Ruskin MFG. Mr. Williams sustained a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder and impingement syndrome.

On June 26, 2001, Mr. Williams suffered a second on-the-job injury at Ruskin MFG. In the second incident, Mr. Williams aggravated his pre-existing rotator cuff tear and impingement syndrome. On January 23, 2002, Mr. Williams had surgery on his left shoulder.

Ruskin MFG accepted the compensability of Mr. Williams' claim and, through its workers' compensation carrier National Union Fire Insurance Company (National Union), paid workers' compensation benefits related to the injuries Williams sustained while in the course and scope of his employment with Ruskin MFG.

National Union filed a claim with the Board seeking reimbursement from the Workers' Compensation Second Injury Fund. On August 2, 2002, the Board denied

Page 587

National Union's claim.[1] On September 9, 2002, National Union, in accordance with LSA-R.s. 23:1378(E), filed a petition for judicial review in the district court.

On May 2, 2013, National Union filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that no genuine issues of material fact were in dispute and that it was entitled to reimbursement from the Second Injury Fund. In support of its [2014 0631 La.App. 1 Cir. 3] motion, National Union submitted, among other things, Mr. Williams' deposition and the affidavit of Dr. John J. Ferrell, Mr. Williams' orthopedic surgeon.[2] The Second Injury Board opposed the motion, contending that National Union did not meet its burden of proof to show that it was entitled to reimbursement by the Second Injury Fund.

Following argument, the district court granted National Union's motion for summary judgment, concluding that " all required elements for reimbursement from the Second Injury Board have been met." The Board has appealed to seek review of the ...


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