JAMES BURNETT, SR.
VILLAGE OF ESTHERWOOD
FROM THE OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION - DISTRICT 4
PARISH OF ACADIA, NO. 07-03423 SHARON MORROW, WORKERS'
Michael Benny Miller Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT: James Burnett, Sr.
Christopher Richard Philipp Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT-APPELLEE: Village of Estherwood.
composed of Elizabeth A. Pickett, Phyllis M. Keaty, and
Jonathan W. Perry, Judges.
ELIZABETH A. PICKETT JUDGE.
Burnett, Sr. appeals the judgment of the workers'
compensation judge (WCJ) denying his request for treatment by
his choice of pain management physician, denying penalties
and attorney fees, and denying prescription medication to the
Burnett was injured in the course and scope of his employment
with the Village of Estherwood in May 2006. Mr. Burnett and
Estherwood settled his claim for indemnity benefits, and
Estherwood continued paying for certain medical treatment.
April 18, 2018, Mr. Burnett filed a Motion and Order to
Compel Choice of Physician and Motion for Penalties and
Attorney's Fees. Mr. Burnett alleged that his only
treating physician was Dr. Daniel Hodges, a pain management
specialist, but that Dr. Hodges released Mr. Burnett on April
30, 2015. Mr. Burnett then sought treatment with Dr. Michael
Haydel, another pain management physician, but Estherwood
would not authorize payment for the treatment. Mr. Burnett
argued that because he was receiving no other medical
treatment, the court should order Estherwood to pay for
medical treatment by Dr. Haydel and penalties and attorney
fees for failure to timely pay for the treatment. Mr. Burnett
attached documents showing that Dr. Hodges requested that Mr.
Burnett see a different doctor and a letter from Dr. Haydel
dated July 14, 2015 advising that his appointment had been
cancelled because of the failure of Estherwood to authorize
responded to Mr. Burnett's motion by denying that Mr.
Burnett was entitled to treatment with Dr. Haydel. Estherwood
argued that it was not reasonable to allow treatment with a
third pain management specialist and because he had a history
of misusing prescription medications.
hearing on May 31, 2018, Tara Shelton, the claims adjuster
for Mr. Burnett's case, testified, as did Mr. Burnett.
The medical records of Dr. Fraser Landreneau (who had
previously treated Mr. Burnett), Dr. Jyoti Pham, and Dr.
Hodges were introduced. Pharmacy records were also
introduced, as well as correspondence relating to Mr.
Burnett's treatment. The WCJ denied Mr. Burnett's
motion to compel treatment and for penalties and attorney
fees. The WCJ did note that Mr. Burnett could seek medical
treatment with a physician at Estherwood's expense, but
that Estherwood is not required to pay for any prescription
medication. Mr. Burnett now appeals the judgment of the trial
appeal, Mr. Burnett asserts three assignments of error:
1. The workers' compensation judge erred in terminating
Mr. Burnett's prescription medication, as the issue was
not before the workers' ...