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Kuakahela v. Rose Aircraft Servs., Inc.

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division III

May 27, 2015

CATHERINE KUAKAHELA, APPELLANT
v.
ROSE AIRCRAFT SERVICES, INC. and AIG CLAIMS, INC., APPELLEES

Editorial Note:

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the printed official reporter.

APPEAL FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION. NO. G301461.

Medlock, Gramlich & Sexton, LLP, by: Michael Ellig, for appellant.

Worley, Wood & Parrish, P.A., by: Jarrod S. Parrish, for appellees.

PHILLIP T. WHITEAKER, Judge. KINARD and HOOFMAN, JJ., agree.

OPINION

PHILLIP T. WHITEAKER, Judge

Catherine Kuakahela appeals a decision by the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission (Commission). The Commission denied her request for psychological treatment, finding no evidence of a diagnosis by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. We reverse the Commission's decision and remand for a determination of compensability. Because there was evidence in the record that Ms. Kuakahela's diagnosis had been reviewed and approved by both a licensed psychiatrist and a psychologist, the Commission's factual finding was clearly erroneous, and its decision was not supported by substantial evidence.

When we review a decision of the Workers' Compensation Commission, we view the evidence and all reasonable inferences deducible therefrom in the light most favorable to the findings of the Commission and affirm that decision if it is supported by substantial evidence.

Page 2

Clark v. Peabody Testing Serv., 265 Ark. 489, 579 S.W.2d 360 (1979); Crossett Sch. Dist. v. Gourley, 50 Ark.App. 1, 899 S.W.2d 482 (1995). Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Carroll Gen. Hosp. v. Green, 54 Ark.App. 102, 923 S.W.2d 878 (1996); Wright v. ABC Air, Inc., 44 Ark.App. 5, 864 S.W.2d 871 (1993). We do not reverse a decision of the Commission unless we are convinced that fair-minded persons with the same facts before them could not have arrived at the conclusion reached by the Commission. Milligan v. West Tree Serv., 57 Ark.App. 14, 941 S.W.2d 434 (1997); Willmon v. Allen Canning Co., 38 Ark.App. 105, 828 S.W.2d 868 (1992). With these standards in mind, we will now consider the evidence before the Commission.

In February 2013, Ms. Kuakahela sustained an admittedly compensable injury to her head during the course and scope of her employment with Rose Aircraft Services. She received medical services for this compensable injury, which included emergency hospitalization, diagnostic testing of her head and neck, prescriptive medications, physical therapy, and neurological testing and treatment.

Neurologically, Ms. Kuakahela was treated by Dr. Tonya Phillips. In May 2013, Dr. Phillips indicated that Ms. Kuakahela's exam was normal from a neurological standpoint, but that there might be some degree of postconcussive syndrome. She also indicated that there appeared to be a " significant psychological overlay and anxiety" ...


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