GOLDEN YEARS MANOR and CANNON COCHRAN MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC., APPELLANTS
KELLEY DELARGY, APPELLEE
APPEAL FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION. NO. F909336.
Michael E. Ryburn, for appellant.
Orr Willhite, PLC, by: M. Scott Willhite, for appellee.
WAYMOND M. BROWN, Judge. VAUGHT and HOOFMAN, JJ., agree.
WAYMOND M. BROWN, Judge
Appellants Golden Years Manor and Cannon Cochran Management Services, Inc., appeal the November 18, 2014 decision of the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission (Commission) granting appellee additional benefits in the form of temporary-total-disability benefits (TTD) from May 11, 2011 until August 1, 2011, and from March 9, 2012 through February 12, 2013. The Commission also found tat appellee had proved that she had sustained 14 percent permanent anatomical impairment, as well as 25 percent wage-loss disability. On appeal, appellants contend that (1) this court's decision in Delargy v. Golden Years Manor  was in error because this court improperly decided the issue of appellee's receipt of the Form AR-N and (2) the evidence was insufficient to support the Commission's finding that appellee's treatment by Dr. Richard D. Peek was reasonable and necessary and that appellee was entitled to TTD, permanent
impairment, or wage-loss disability. We affirm.
Appellee suffered a compensable lumbar-spine injury on October 13, 2009, when helping to lift a resident from the floor to an ambulance stretcher while working as a licensed practical nurse for appellant Golden Years Manor. Appellants paid for medical treatment and other benefits until August 2010. The payments ceased following appellee's release by Dr. Edward H. Saer, III. Dr. Saer opined that appellee had reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) as of June 17, 2010, with no impairment rating for the work-related injury. Appellee began treating with Dr. Peek on March 29, 2011. Dr. Peek performed back surgery on appellee on May 11, 2011. Appellee's pain improved, and she was able to return to work in August 2011. Appellee subsequently received trigger-point injections in September, November, and January. She continued to work through January 31, 2012. Dr. Peek opined on March 9, 2012, that appellee was " disabled from employment." He recommended that appellee undergo another surgery on her back. Appellee's second surgery took place on April 10, 2012. Her pain decreased, and she received a trigger-point injection on May 10, 2012. In February 2013, Dr. Peek stated that it was his opinion that appellee's back injury in October 2009 resulted in 25 percent permanent impairment to the body. The parties stipulated that appellee reached MMI on February 12, 2013.
In the prior appeal, this court reversed the Commission's finding that appellee was not entitled to further benefits because we held that appellee was not properly notified of her change-of-physician rights and responsibilities. We remanded the case to the Commission so that it could consider the other controverted issues in light of our holding that the change-of-physician rules did not apply. Upon remand, the Commission granted appellee benefits. This timely appeal followed.
In appeals involving claims for workers' compensation, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commission's decision and affirm the decision if it is supported by substantial evidence. Substantial evidence is relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. The issue is not whether we might have reached a different result than the Commission, but whether reasonable minds could reach the Commission's decision. Additionally, questions concerning the credibility of witnesses and the weight to be given to their testimony are within the Commission's exclusive province.
For their first point, appellants argue that the issue of the Form AR-N was improperly raised in the prior appeal. This point is barred by the law-of-the-case doctrine. The law-of-the-case doctrine prohibits a court from reconsidering issues of law and fact that have already been decided on appeal. The doctrine provides that a decision of an ...