FROM THE OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION NO. 16-06210,
DISTRICT "EIGHT" Honorable Robert Varnado,
Workers' Compensation Judge
Hall PRO SE PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, MAXINE HALL
M. Ledet JUGE NAPOLITANO GUILBEAU RULI & FRIEMAN, APLC
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLEES, GLOBAL SOLUTIONS, LLC AND
ILLINOIS NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY
composed of Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano,
Judge Sandra Cabrina Jenkins
F. Love, Judge
appeal arises from a disputed claim for compensation filed by
the plaintiff for injuries sustained while on the job. After
a door closed on plaintiffs foot at the hotel where she was
working, she was unable to continue working. Plaintiff began
to receive workers' compensation benefits, but the
benefits were terminated approximately two years after
injury. Plaintiff then filed a disputed claim for
compensation. Following a trial, the workers'
compensation court judge dismissed plaintiffs claims.
Plaintiff filed an appeal in proper person contending that
she remained entitled to workers' compensation benefits
because she continues to suffer from pain and cannot work. We
find that the trial court did not commit manifest error by
dismissing plaintiffs claims, as there were two permissible
views of the evidence, and affirm.
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
April 12, 2014, Maxine Hall was working as a housekeeper for
Global Solution Services, LLC ("Global") when a
closet door automatically shut on her left foot while she was
performing a turn down service at the Roosevelt Hotel. Ms.
Hall was told at the Ochsner emergency room that no bones
were broken. However, Ms. Hall continued to experience pain
and swelling. Ms. Hall then treated with Dr. Gregory Moldin,
who prescribed pain medication. Ms. Hall's caseworker
then directed her to Concentra where Ms. Hall received
another x-ray and discovered that she had a fracture in her
toe. Ms. Hall was placed on crutches and given a boot. Ms.
Hall was then treated by an orthopedic surgeon, a
neurologist, a vascular surgeon, and a pain management
doctor. Ms. Hall contends she received no relief from her
pain, continues to experience swelling, tenderness, and is
unable to return to work.
Hall began receiving workers' compensation benefits as a
result of her injuries, but the benefits were terminated on
August 7, 2016. Ms. Hall then filed a Disputed Claim for
Compensation against Global and its insurer, Illinois
National Insurance Company ("Illinois"), seeking a
reinstatement of benefits, an authorization for medical
treatment, and alleging that Global failed to pay or timely
pay for travel expenses. Ms. Hall also requested penalties
and attorney's fees. Following the trial, the
workers' compensation court judge dismissed Ms.
Hall's Disputed Claim for Compensation at her own
costs. Ms. Hall filed an appeal in proper person.
Ms. Hall contends that the workers' compensation court
judge erred by dismissing her claims.
courts review workers' compensation cases using the
manifest error-clearly wrong standard of review."
Martinez v. Rames, 16-1312, p. 2 (La.App. 4 Cir.
7/12/17), 224 So.3d 467, 470. "In applying the manifest
error-clearly wrong standard of review, the appellate court
must not determine whether the trier of fact was right or
wrong, but only whether the factfinder's conclusion was a
reasonable one." Chaisson v. Louisiana Rock
Monsters, LLC, 13-1423, p. 3 (La.App. 4 Cir. 4/2/14),
140 So.3d 55, 57. "Where there are two permissible views
of the evidence, a factfinder's choice between them can
never be manifestly erroneous or clearly wrong."
Id. "Thus, 'if the [factfinder's]
findings are reasonable in light of the record reviewed in
its entirety, the court of appeal may not reverse, even if
convinced that had it been sitting as the trier of fact, it
would have weighed the evidence differently.'"
Banks v. Indus. Roofing & Sheet Metal Works,
Inc., 96-2840, p. 8 (La. 7/1/97), 696 So.2d 551, 556,
quoting Sistler v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 558 So.2d
1106, 1112 (La. 1990).
legal error interdicts the fact-finding process in a workers
compensation proceeding, the de novo, rather than
the manifest error, standard of review applies."
Tulane Univ. Hosp. & Clinic v. Lockheed Martin
Corp., 11-0179, p. 3 (La.App. 4 Cir. 6/29/11), 70 So.3d
988, 990. "Likewise, interpretation of statutes
pertaining to workers' compensation is a question of law
and warrants a de novo review to determine if the
ruling was legally correct." Id.