FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION [NO.
Goldberg & Dohan, by: Andy L. Caldwell, for appellant.
Mayton, Newkirk & Jones, by: L. Eric Newkirk, for
RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge.
Yates appeals the decision of the Arkansas Workers'
Compensation Commission ("the Commission") finding
that he failed to establish that he had sustained a
compensable injury arising out of and in the course of his
employment at Boar's Head Provisions Co., Inc.
("Boar's Head"). On appeal, Yates argues that
the Commission's decision was not supported by
substantial evidence. We affirm.
began working for Boar's Head on April 8, 2012. He
initially worked in sanitation and then was promoted to a
position at the smokehouse. At the hearing before the
administrative law judge ("ALJ"), Yates testified
that on June 13, 2015, he injured his right foot while
working in the smokehouse. He described the accident as
At the time of the accident, we were pulling blast into a
cooler. I have to pull a [meat] rack that's probably
twelve or thirteen hundred pounds. We were pulling it through
an eye, a space of the rack that is about four feet. As I was
coming through the aisle, I hit my right foot on a switch.
his "lead, " Alex Patricio, that he had hurt
himself and that he needed to see the company nurse, Linda
Long. Yates testified that he reported to Long that he had
hit his right foot on the meat rack. Long then wrapped his
foot, and he went back to work. Later that day, Yates
returned to the nurse's station and saw an
emergency-medical technician, Nathaniel Moeri. Yates
testified that Moeri rewrapped his foot and advised him that
his foot was swollen but not broken. Yates worked three more
days, but on the third day, he told his supervisor, Tremarcus
Powell, that his foot had worsened and he needed to go to the
hospital. He then went to the emergency room at Forrest City
Medical Center and was diagnosed with an oblique fracture. At
the hospital, he received a temporary cast and later a full
cast. Yates explained that he did not work for seven weeks
pursuant to his doctor's recommendation. He also
testified that he had an emergency-room bill for $250, an
x-ray fee of $55, and another fee for $15. He stated that his
health insurance paid for a visit to an orthopedic physician.
Long testified that she is a nurse at Boar's Head and
that she treats workers'-compensation and
non-workers'-compensation injuries there. She explained
that when an employee reports being injured while working,
she completes an "employee first report of injury"
form, fills out workers'-compensation paperwork, and
reports the injury to her supervisor. Long testified that on
June 13, 2015, she treated Yates for a foot injury, but Yates
told her that he did not know how he had injured his foot.
Thus, she did not complete the forms or report the injury.
She also referenced a "first aid log sheet" that
she had completed on June 13, 2015, where she wrote that
Yates had reported to her that he felt "like his arch
testified that he treated Yates for a foot injury on June 13,
2015, but Yates did not tell him that the injury was work
related. He stated that if Yates had informed him that he had
injured his foot while working, Moeri would have sent him for
an evaluation at Forrest City Medical Center and given him a
workers'-compensation packet. Moeri also denied telling
Yates that his foot appeared to be swollen.
noted that on June 17, 2015, Yates returned to his office and
completed an "employee first report of injury"
form. Boar's Head introduced the form into evidence. On
the form, Yates described his injury as follows:
To the best of my knowledge, I was working, pulling, and
pushing [meat] racks to and from the blast and somehow my
foot ha[d] a pain. I finished my duties, came to [the] nurse,
and h[ad] it wrapped and continue[d] working. [T]hen, two
hours later, I [went] back to the second shift nurse and
ha[d] it wrapped again and continue[d] working.
Head also introduced into evidence Yates's medical
records from Forrest City Medical Center. The "nurse
documentation" states that Yates reported "having
right foot pain for two days but denies injury." The
"physician documentation" provides, "Mechanism
of Injury: HE CAN'T RECALL HOW HE INJURED HIS FOOT."
February 4, 2016, the ALJ entered an opinion finding that
Yates had established a compensable injury to his right foot
while working at Boar's Head on June 13, 2015. ...