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APPEAL FROM THE OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION - # 3, PARISH OF CALCASIEU, NO. 13-02014. SAM L. LOWERY, WORKERS' COMPENSATION JUDGE.
Charles William Farr, Mandeville, LA, COUNSEL FOR: Defendant/Appellant - Boise Cascade Company.
Jason R. Bell, Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson, Lake Charles, LA, COUNSEL FOR: Plaintiff/Appellee - Jason Montou.
Court composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Billy Howard Ezell, and John E. Conery, Judges.
[14-1248 La.App. 3 Cir. 1]
Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge,
This dispute involves a work-related accident for which a claim was filed with the Office of Workers' Compensation after disability benefits were discontinued. Jason Montou was injured in the course and scope of his employment for Boise Cascade Company (" Boise" ). Both parties agree Mr. Montou suffered an injury to his shoulder, but disagree over whether he also sustained injuries to his neck and back. The parties also disagree over whether Mr. Montou is still disabled. The workers' compensation judge (WCJ) determined Mr. Montou's neck and back injuries are compensable and that he is still disabled and entitled to indemnity benefits, but that Boise is not liable for penalties and attorney fees for its treatment of his claim. Boise now appeals. After a review of the record, we do not find that the WCJ was manifestly erroneous in his conclusions and, therefore, affirm.
This Court will now consider:
(1) whether it was manifest error for the WCJ to conclude that Mr. Montou's alleged back and neck injuries were related to the work accident;
(2) whether it was manifest error for the WCJ to conclude that Mr. Montou proved by clear and convincing evidence that he is entitled to indemnity benefits as a result of the work accident; and
(3) whether the WCJ erred in failing to award Mr. Montou penalties and attorney fees.
[14-1248 La.App. 3 Cir. 2] II.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Jason Montou, plaintiff-appellee, claims he injured his shoulder, back, and neck on November 22, 2010, while unloading a hydraulic cylinder within the course and scope of his employment with Boise. Following the accident, Mr. Montou immediately reported to his supervisor and completed a Supervisor's Incident Report, which he reviewed and signed. The incident report only refers to a shoulder injury. Mr. Montou was taken to Oakdale Community Hospital by his supervisor and treated for his shoulder injury. The Oakdale records confirm that Mr. Montou's " chief complaint" was right shoulder pain, but they also establish that Mr. Montou complained of numbness in the fingers of his right hand. Mr. Montou was sent home and told to follow-up with an orthopedic doctor if the pain persisted.
Several days later, Mr. Montou contacted the workers' compensation adjuster and requested an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. The adjuster scheduled him an appointment at the Center for Orthopedics where he was treated by Dr. Steven Hale. Dr. Hale treated Mr. Montou for his shoulder, eventually performing surgery on his rotator cuff, and referred Mr. Montou to Dr. William Lowry for treatment of his back. The medical records indicate that throughout his treatment with Drs. Hale and Lowry, Mr. Montou complained of numbness and tingling in his right arm, hand, and fingers, as well as ...