FROM THE OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION - # 4 PARISH OF
EVANGELINE, NO. 10-04116 ADAM C. JOHNSON, WORKERS'
Michael B. Miller Jacqueline K. Becker Attorneys at Law Post
Office Drawer 1630 Crowley, LA COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT Elizabeth Soileau
J. Landry Allen & Gooch, A Law Corporation COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT-APPELLEE Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. and/or Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc. D/B/A Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and/or All Its
Subsidiaries and Affilliates
composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, John D. Saunders, Marc T. Amy,
and Elizabeth A. Pickett, John E. Conery, Judges.
ELIZABETH A. PICKETT JUDGE
workers' compensation claimant appeals a judgment that
allows her employer to require her to use a pharmacy it owns
and operates for all of her prescription needs. For the
following reasons, we reverse the judgment.
2008, Elizabeth Soileau was injured in the course and scope
of her employment with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. In September
2016, Ms. Soileau obtained a judgment against Wal-Mart
ordering that she "is entitled to prescriptions of
Hydrocodone, Lyrica, Celebrex, and Voltaren gel." The
following June, the supreme court decided Burgess v.
Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, 16-2267 (La.
6/29/17), 225 So.3d 1020, in which it held that Louisiana
workers' compensation laws do not allow an employee to
choose the pharmacy she wants to use for her prescription
needs. Two months later, Wal-Mart notified Ms. Soileau that
she could no longer use the pharmacy she was using for her
prescriptions and that she could only use "a Wal-Mart or
Sam's Club Pharmacy" for her future prescriptions
Wal-Mart failed to fill two of the prescriptions that are the
subject of the September 2016 judgment, Ms. Soileau filed a
motion seeking to compel Wal-Mart to designate a pharmacy
other than Wal-Mart or Sam's Club for her prescriptions.
She acknowledged in her motion that the Burgess
decision authorized Wal-Mart to require her to use a specific
pharmacy but argued that Wal-Mart's requirement that she
use only pharmacies it owns and operates exceeds the scope of
Burgess for a number of reasons, e.g., it created a
conflict of interest for pharmacy personnel between its
employer and her.
opposed Ms. Soileau's motion, arguing that
Burgess does not restrict an employer's
authority to designate a pharmacy, that any problems Ms.
Soileau experiences with Wal-Mart or Sam's Club pharmacy
services can be addressed under La.R.S. 23:1201(E), and that
she previously used its pharmacy for her prescription needs.
For reasons urged by Wal-Mart, the workers' compensation
judge (WCJ) denied Ms. Soileau's motion.
Soileau filed a writ application with this court, seeking
reversal of the WCJ's judgment. This court denied the
writ application, finding the judgment "addresse[d] the
merits of the only remaining matters" pending before the
workers' compensation court and instructed Ms. Soileau to
comply with the rules applicable to appeals. Ms. Soileau then
appealed the WCJ's judgment.
sole assignment of error, Ms. Soileau urges that "[t]he
[WCJ] erred in expanding the application of Burgess v.
Sewerage & Water [Board] of New Orleans, 16-2267
(La. 6/29/2017), 225 So.3d 1020, to allow an employer to
force its employee in a workers' compensation case to
receive pharmaceutical treatment at its own facility."