ON APPEAL FROM THE OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION, DISTRICT 7, PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA. NO. 14-01899, HONORABLE SYLVIA T. DUNN, JUDGE PRESIDING.
GREGORY S. UNGER, LANCE B. VINSON, ATTORNEYS AT LAW, Metairie, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE, TRAVIS WILSON.
FRANK J. TOWERS, RICHARD S. VALE, ERIC E. POPE, PAMELA NOYA MOLNAR, ATTORNEYS AT LAW, Metairie, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT, BROADMOOR, L.L.C.
Panel composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Robert M. Murphy, and Hans J. Liljeberg.
SUSAN M. CHEHARDY, J.
[14-694 La.App. 5 Cir. 2] This is an appeal from a judgment rendered by a workers' compensation judge, overturning the denial by the Medical Director of the Louisiana Office of Workers' Compensation Administration (" OWCA" ) of claimant's request for medical treatment. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment and award costs and attorney fees.
Facts and Procedural History
On January 6, 2013, Mr. Wilson injured his neck, shoulder, and back when he fell from a ladder during the course and scope of his employment with appellant, Broadmoor, L.L.C. Mr. Wilson sought treatment with an orthopedist, Dr. Michael Zeringue, which included physical therapy and steroid injections that did not alleviate the pain in his lower back, which was " radiating down his right leg."
In October of 2013, Dr. Zeringue referred Mr. Wilson to a neurosurgeon, Dr. Gabriel Tender, for evaluation for surgical options to relieve his pain. At that appointment, Mr. Wilson reported radiating pain in his right leg that interfered with his normal activities. In conjunction with the physical evaluation, Dr. Tender reviewed an MRI of Mr. Wilson's back that showed " at L4-5 a combination of disc [14-694 La.App. 5 Cir. 3] and osteophyte complex resulting in a foraminal stenosis bilaterally" and " a tiny disc protrusion at L5-S1 but without foraminal compromise."
On November 27, 2013, Dr. Michael Zeringue again saw Mr. Wilson, who complained of continued lower back and right leg pain. Dr. Zeringue diagnosed Mr. Wilson that day with " lumbar radiculitis." On December 30, 2013, Mr. Wilson again presented to Dr. Zeringue with " an increase in his back pain," for which Dr. Zeringue prescribed pain medications and physical therapy.
On January 6, 2014, Mr. Wilson began further physical therapy in an effort to alleviate his lower back and right leg pain. On February 5, 2014, Mr. Wilson again
presented to Dr. Zeringue with complaints of pain in his back that goes " down his ...