FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION [NO.
Keith Wren, for appellant.
H. Montgomery, for appellee.
RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge.
Lynn Schall appeals the April 15, 2016 opinion of the
Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission
("Commission") that reversed a July 22, 2015
opinion of the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") and
ruled that Schall did not prove that she was permanently and
totally disabled. The Commission found that Schall proved she
sustained wage-loss disability in the amount of 35 percent.
On appeal, Schall contends the Commission's decision is
not supported by substantial evidence. We affirm.
11, 2009, Schall, who was forty-one years old at the time,
sustained a compensable injury to her right shoulder while
employed as a registered nurse at the University of Arkansas
for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Schall testified that she
"hyper-extended" her arm while moving a hospital
patient and that her arm was pulled out of its socket. She
has not returned to work for UAMS or any other employer since
her July 11, 2009 work-related injury.
found that Schall was permanently and totally disabled. On
appeal, the Commission found that Schall did not prove that
she was permanently and totally disabled, and then found that
Schall had proved she sustained wage-loss disability in the
amount of 35 percent. The appeal before us arises from the
Commission's opinion dated April 15, 2016. Schall
contends the decision of the Commission is not supported by
substantial evidence and should be reversed. Specifically,
Schall argues that the fact that she has not looked for
additional employment is not substantial evidence to support
the Commission's finding that she is not permanently and
standard of review in workers' compensation cases is well
settled. On appeal, this court must determine whether there
is substantial evidence to support the Commission's
decision. Express Human Resources III v. Terry, 61
Ark.App. 258, 968 S.W.2d 630 (1998). In appeals involving
claims for workers' compensation, this court views the
evidence in the light most favorable to the Commission's
decision and affirms the decision if it is supported by
substantial evidence. Leach v. Cooper Tire & Rubber
Co., 2011 Ark.App. 571. Substantial evidence exists if
reasonable minds could reach the Commission's conclusion.
Id. The issue is not whether the appellate court
might have reached a different result from the Commission; if
reasonable minds could reach the result found by the
Commission, the appellate court must affirm. Id.
questions and the weight to be given to witness testimony are
within the Commission's exclusive province. Pack v.
Little Rock Convention Ctr., 2013 Ark. 186, 427 S.W.3d
586. The Commission's decision to accept or reject
medical opinions and how it resolves conflicting medical
evidence has the force and effect of a jury verdict. St.
Edward Mercy Med. Ctr. v. Chrisman, 2012 Ark.App. 475,
422 S.W.3d 171.
sole point on appeal relates to the fact that she has not
attempted to find other employment since her work injury. She
argues this fact alone should not preclude her from being
found permanently and totally disabled.
Code Annotated section 11-9-519(e)(1) (Repl. 2012) provides,
"Permanent total disability" means inability,
because of compensable injury or occupational disease, to
earn any meaningful wages in the same or other employment.
burden of proof shall be on the employee to prove inability
to earn any meaningful wage in the same or other employment.
Ark. Code Ann. § 11-9-519(e)(2). The Commission is
charged with the duty of determining disability based on a
consideration of medical evidence and other matters affecting
wage loss, including the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and other matters reasonably expected to affect
his or her future earning capacity. See Ark. Code
Ann. § 11-9-522(b)(1). Other matters which may
reasonably be expected to affect the worker's future
earning power such as motivation, post-injury income, bona
fide job offers, credibility, or voluntary termination may
also be considered. The claimant's motivation to ...