Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Fulbright v. St. Bernard's Medical Center Risk Management Resources

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division II

September 21, 2016

DONNA SUE FULBRIGHT, APPELLANT
v.
ST. BERNARD'S MEDICAL CENTER RISK MANAGEMENT RESOURCES, APPELLEES

         APPEAL FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION [NO. G401035]

          Wells & Wells, PLLC, by: Phillip Wells, for appellant.

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

          BART F. VIRDEN, Judge

         Appellant Donna Sue Fulbright appeals the decision of the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission (the Commission) denying her claim for benefits associated with an injury that she asserts she sustained while she was performing employment services within the course of her employment with St. Bernard's Medical Center. The Commission found that Fulbright failed to prove that she had sustained a compensable injury. On appeal to this court, Fulbright argues that the Commission failed to conduct a proper review and that the Commission's findings are not supported by substantial evidence. After reviewing the evidence presented, we disagree and affirm.

         I. Facts

         Donna Sue Fulbright worked at St. Bernard's Medical Center (St. Bernard's) as a laundry aide in 2014 when she tripped and fell on her way to the cafeteria to get a snack during a break. On the day of the accident, Fulbright had clocked out and walked across the street to smoke.[1] Fulbright clocked back in when she returned from smoking and then she resumed her break on the campus. As Fulbright was walking inside the hospital near the admission desk, she tripped on the edge of a carpet and fell, fracturing her left hip and femur. Fulbright testified that though she was not directly benefitting St. Bernard's during her break, she was indirectly benefitting her employer by getting something to eat so that she could have energy to do the physical labor associated with her work. Fulbright testified that she had eaten a Pop-Tart that morning before work but that she needed to eat again before lunch in order to do her job. On cross-examination, Fulbright testified that she carried out her duties mostly in the laundry room but that she also delivered linens to various floors at the hospital. Fulbright admitted that she was not carrying out any tasks related to her job activity when she went to the cafeteria and that she was not required to perform any job duties during her break, nor were other coworkers ever called back during breaks to do work.

         Fulbright testified that she did not have any medical conditions that required her to eat every two or three hours, nor would she have passed out if she had not eaten before her lunch break.

         Kathryn Witcher, the team leader in the laundry facility at St. Bernard's, testified that Fulbright's job was to feed sheets through an ironing machine and that it was not a strenuous job. Witcher testified that Fulbright's work duties were not so demanding that one would need to stop and eat to continue working, though the work was continuous all day long.

         On May 6, 2016, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Andrew Blood found that Fulbright "did not sustain an injury arising out of and in the course of her employment with [St. Bernard's] in that she was not performing employment services at the time of her accidental fall."

         The Commission affirmed and adopted the decision of the ALJ, though Commissioner Phillip Hood dissented stating that he would have found that Fulbright had been obtaining food to sustain herself for a physically demanding job, thus, her activity while she was injured had been to the benefit of her employer and necessary for her work.

         Fulbright filed a timely notice of appeal.

         II. Points on Appeal

         For her first point on appeal, Fulbright argues that the Commission erred when it adopted the ALJ's findings of fact and conclusions of law and failed to conduct a de novo review of the record and make findings of fact and conclusions of law.

         The Commission is permitted to adopt the decision of the ALJ, thereby making the law judge's findings and conclusions those of the Commission. Death & Permanent Total Disability Trust Fund v. Branum,82 Ark.App. 338, 107 S.W.3d 876 (2003). There is no indication that the Commission did not conduct a de novo review, and as is set forth above, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.