FROM THE OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION - # 3 PARISH OF
CALCASIEU, NO. 14-05524 ANTHONY PAUL PALERMO, WORKERS'
Christopher E. John Assistant City Attorney P.O COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: City of Lake Charles.
R. Bell, Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson, COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: John LaSalle.
composed of Elizabeth A. Pickett, Phyllis M. Keaty, and D.
Kent Savoie, Judges.
KENT SAVOIE JUDGE.
employer appeals the workers' compensation court's
judgment finding that its employee's injuries to his
right knee were causally related to a work-accident. For the
following reasons, we reverse and render judgment in favor of
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
August 20, 2007, John LaSalle fell off of a trash truck in
the course and scope of his employment with the City of Lake
Charles ("the City"). He injured his left knee and
underwent a left knee replacement. The City paid medical
benefits relating to his left knee injuries, as well as
20, 2014, Mr. LaSalle sought treatment from Dr. Brett Cascio,
complaining of pain in his right knee. Dr. Cascio provided
Mr. LaSalle with a steroid injection and ordered an MRI. The
City declined to cover the cost of the MRI.
LaSalle then saw Dr. David Drez on June 26, 2014, for a
second medical opinion regarding his right knee. Dr.
Drez's report concluded that no diagnostic studies or
further treatment were necessary, other than over-the-counter
anti-inflammatory medication. The City again declined to
cover expenses related to treatment to Mr. LaSalle's
August 20, 2014, Mr. LaSalle filed a disputed claim for
compensation seeking medical benefits related to alleged
injuries to his right knee, as well as penalties and attorney
fees for the City's alleged arbitrary and capricious
handling of the claim.
LaSalle saw Dr. Cascio again on September 18, 2014. Dr.
Cascio's report noted a "small effusion" in the
right knee and that Mr. LaSalle was provided with another
steroid injection. Dr. Cascio ordered an MRI, and the City
again declined to the cover the cost.
City filed an Answer on October 7, 2014, admitting that a
work-related accident occurred on August 20, 2007, and that
Mr. LaSalle sustained injuries to his left knee arising from
that accident. It otherwise denied allegations concerning Mr.
LaSalle's right knee.
April 10, 2015, the workers' compensation court signed an
order appointing Dr. Thomas Ford to perform an independent
medical examination ("IME") in connection with the
disputed medical issues. On May 28, 2015, Dr. Ford ...