FROM THE OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION - # 4 PARISH OF
LAFAYETTE, NO. 0103123 SHARON MORROW, WORKERS'
Michael B. Miller Attorney at Law P. O. Drawer 1630 Crowley,
LA COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: Catherine Cobb
Lane Roy Brown Sims COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT:
Lafayette Parish School Board
Catherine M. Landry Many Simon Preis PLC COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Lafayette Parish School Board
composed of D. Kent Savoie, Van H. Kyzar, and David E.
Chatelain , Judges.
KENT SAVOIE, JUDGE
workers' compensation matter, the employer appeals an
award of penalties and attorney fees in favor of the claimant
for failing to pay claimant's medical bills. For the
reasons that follow, we reverse in part, and affirm in part
and Factual Background
8, 2001, Catherine Cobb filed a disputed claim for
compensation alleging she was injured in September 2000,
during the course and scope of her employment with the
Lafayette Parish School Board (LPSB). On July 20, 2005, the
parties stipulated that Ms. Cobb was entitled to temporary
total disability benefits. LPSB then terminated these
benefits on August 30, 2006. However, it did not file a
motion seeking to modify Ms. Cobb's benefits until May
August 31, 2009, the Office of Workers' Compensation
(OWC) rendered judgment in favor of Ms. Cobb, awarding
indemnity benefits in the amount of $195.25 payable from
September 12, 2000 through May 30, 2008, as well as $3,
000.00 in penalties, which was 24% of unpaid benefits from
August 31, 2006 through May 30, 2008. Ms. Cobb was also
awarded $10, 000.00 in attorney fees, $1, 135.53 in costs,
and legal interest. No other benefits were awarded.
Cobb appealed the August 31, 2009 judgment to the extent it
failed to award her with any other benefits, and LPSB
appealed the award of penalties and attorney fees. The August
31, 2009 judgment was affirmed in all respects by this court
on November 3, 2010. Cobb v. Lafayette Parish School
Bd., 10-430 (La.App. 3 Cir. 11/3/10), 49 So.3d 597,
writ denied, 10-2692 (La. 1/28/11), 56 So.3d 958.
7, 2010, Ms. Cobb filed a motion seeking additional penalties
and attorney fees for LPSB's failure to pay the August
31, 2009 judgment. The workers' compensation judge
granted Ms. Cobb's motion and awarded her $3, 000 in
penalties and $2, 500 in attorney fees pursuant to a judgment
dated March 27, 2012.
Cobb filed another motion seeking penalties and attorney fees
on October 12, 2012, alleging LPSB failed to pay the March
27, 2012 judgment. She then filed an amended motion on
December 14, 2012, additionally alleging that LPSB failed to
pay certain medical bills incurred by Ms. Cobb, and
therefore, that she was entitled to penalties and attorney
fees. Ms. Cobb did not seek payment of those bills from LPSB.
bills at issue include $4, 999 for services rendered by
Michael Berard, Ph.D. from October 17, 2005, through February
14, 2008; $4, 730 for services rendered by Michael Berard,
Ph.D. from March 2008 through August 2010; three separate
bills totaling $80 each for services rendered by Dr. Pervez
Mussarat on December 1, 2009, February 24, 2010, and June 15,
2010; and receipts for ...