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Weaver v. Arkansas Department of Correction

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division III

May 27, 2015

MAE WEAVER, APPELLANT
v.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION and PUBLIC EMPLOYEE CLAIMS, 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. NOS. G103215, G302108.

Orr Willhite, PLC, by: M. Scott Willhite, for appellant.

Robert H. Montgomery, Public Employee Claims Division, for appellee.

M. MICHAEL KINARD, Judge. WHITEAKER and HOOFMAN, JJ., agree.

OPINION

Page 134

M. MICHAEL KINARD, Judge

Appellant Mae Weaver appeals from the decision of the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission that she failed to prove that her neck injury was a compensable injury. She argues that there

Page 135

was sufficient proof, including medical evidence that the Commission disregarded, that her condition was causally related to her work activities. We affirm.

In March 2013, appellant alleged that she had suffered a compensable gradual-onset neck injury from her work at the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC). Appellant had previously litigated a shoulder-injury claim against the same employer, but the Commission found that the injury was not compensable and this court affirmed. See Weaver v. Arkansas Department of Correction, 2013 Ark.App. 158. A hearing was held on her neck-injury claim on February 26, 2014.

Appellant testified that she was fifty-four years old. She had worked for the ADC as a correctional officer from January 2006 through March 2011. Appellant usually worked in the tower, where her duties involved raising and lowering a basket on a rope pulley system using her arms. Appellant described this as strenuous work, noting that the basket alone weighed fifteen to twenty pounds. When weapons were put in the basket, the total weight was usually about twenty-five pounds, but at times it could weigh a maximum of thirty to forty pounds. Appellant said that she raised and lowered the basket ten to fifteen times per day and that it put pressure and strain on her neck and upper extremities.

Deputy Warden Richard Ball testified that the steel-mesh basket weighed about fifteen pounds and that it would be unusual for the basket and its contents to weigh thirty to forty pounds. He said that raising and lowering the basket was not strenuous because the pulley assists and bears most of the weight. Appellant said that she had discussed the heaviness of the basket with a supervisor but did not report any neck problems. Appellant testified that she had also used her arms to pat down inmates, climb a ladder to get into the tower, and fire weapons and lift ...


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