LISA C. TASSIN
TOURO INFIRMARY AND HSLI
APPEAL FROM THE OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION, DISTRICT
7 STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 15-3615 HONORABLE SHANNON BRUNO
BISHOP, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, LISA C. TASSIN Arthur J.
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, TOURO INFIRMARY AND HSLI Wade
A. Langlois, III, Brittany A. Cooper.
composed of Jude G. Gravois, Marc E. Johnson, and Robert M.
G. GRAVOIS JUDGE.
a workers' compensation suit. Claimant Lisa Tassin
appeals a judgment of the Office of Workers' Compensation
rendered on September 15, 2016, which found that she was not
entitled to temporary total disability benefits
("TTDs") and that she had failed to carry her
burden of proof that she was entitled to supplemental
earnings benefits ("SEBs"). On appeal, Ms. Tassin argues
that the trial court was manifestly erroneous in finding that
she was capable of sedentary employment and thus ineligible
for TTDs, and that she failed to carry her burden of proof
that she is entitled to SEBs. After thorough review of the
record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment under
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Lisa Tassin, a registered nurse, was working as an operating
room nurse at Touro Infirmary ("Touro") when she
was injured in the course and scope of her employment while
moving an operating room table on October 28, 2010. Ms.
Tassin was 47 years old at the time. The facts of her
accident, including specifically that she was injured as a
result thereof, are not disputed. The nature and extent of
her injuries are disputed. The record reflects that while Ms.
Tassin was attempting to move the table, she pulled on a part
of the table that came loose, causing her to fall backwards.
She landed on her coccyx (tailbone), resulting in injuries to
her lower back. Prior to this work-related accident, Ms.
Tassin had been involved in two motor vehicle accidents in
2009 and 2010 that caused cervical disc injuries resulting in
chronic neck pain. At the time of her hospital accident, Ms.
Tassin was still under treatment for depression, anxiety,
migraines, and neck pain as a result of those earlier motor
Touro placed Ms. Tassin on light duty work in the medical
records department, but she was unable to perform those
duties due to pain. She was then placed on a
"no-work" restriction and began receiving weekly
indemnity benefits (TTDs), medical treatment, and
prescription medicine coverage paid by Touro through its
third-party administrator, HSLI.
Tassin was initially treated by Dr. Andrew Todd, an
orthopedist, and Dr. Rand Voorhies, a neurologist. She began
treating with Dr. William Knight, a physical medicine and
rehabilitation specialist, assigned by HSLI, in 2012. At the
time of trial, she continued to be under Dr. Knight's
care. Through the time of trial in 2016, Ms. Tassin was
evaluated by numerous doctors in several different medical
fields. Since her October 28, 2010 work accident, Ms. Tassin
has been seen by three neurosurgeons (Drs. Rand Voorhies,
James Tran, and Robert Applebaum). She was also seen by two
orthopedic surgeons (Drs. Andrew Todd and Chad Millet). She
was also evaluated by Dr. Karen Ortenberg, also a specialist
in physical medicine and rehabilitation, who performed an
independent medical examination ("IME") for the
Office of Workers' Compensation in 2014. She also saw a
pain management physician in 2012, Dr. Joseph Crapanzano, for
a second medical opinion, who referred her for treatment to
Dr. Eric Lonseth, also a pain management specialist, who
evaluated Ms. Tassin in 2013 and performed one facet joint
injection in 2016. Ms. Tassin was also evaluated by two
psychologists, Drs. Kevin Greve and Aaron Wolfson, and one
psychiatrist, Dr. Kenneth Sumner, who treated Ms. Tassin for
anxiety and depression. Additionally, ...