WHITE COUNTY JUDGE AND THE ASSOCIATION OF ARKANSAS COUNTIES RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES APPELLANTS
BRUCE MENSER APPELLEE
FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION [NO.
M. Ryburn, for appellants.
Davis, for appellee.
MARK KLAPPENBACH, JUDGE.
White County Judge and the Association of Arkansas Counties
Risk Management Services appeal from a decision of the
Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission (Commission)
awarding Bruce Menser reasonable and necessary medical
treatment. Appellants contend that Menser's claim is
barred by the statute of limitations and that substantial
evidence does not support a finding that his injuries are
compensable. We reverse and remand.
was working as a patrol deputy for the White County
Sheriff's Office on December 16, 2013, when he alleges he
was injured due to exposure to fumes from his patrol
car's battery. Appellants initially accepted the injury
as compensable and paid benefits but later controverted it in
its entirety. A hearing was held before the administrative
law judge (ALJ) in April 2017 on the issues of the statute of
limitations, compensability, and reasonable and necessary
medical treatment; other issues were reserved. Menser
presented evidence that the battery in his patrol car
exploded on the night in question and that the exposure to
fumes inside the car caused a myriad of injuries. He was
eventually treated by Dr. David Silas, a neurologist, who
diagnosed him with a seizure disorder and neuropathy. Dr.
Silas opined that Menser's conditions were caused by his
inhalation of the battery fumes. Appellants submitted the
report of Dr. Henry Simmons, who opined after reviewing
Menser's medical records and deposition that Menser had
not suffered a toxicological injury.
Commission, which affirmed and adopted the decision of the
ALJ, found that Menser's claim was not barred by the
statute of limitations, that he had sustained compensable
injuries in the form of a brain injury and neuropathy, and
that he was entitled to reasonable and necessary medical
treatment for these injuries. The Commission found that he
had not proved compensable injuries with regard to the
evidence of fibromyalgia, joint pain, a pulmonary injury,
anxiety, or memory loss and confusion.
first address appellants' contention that Menser's
claim is barred by the statute of limitations. When reviewing
decisions from the Commission, this court views the evidence
and all reasonable inferences therefrom in the light most
favorable to the Commission's findings and will affirm
the decision if the findings are supported by substantial
evidence. Barnes v. Fort Smith Pub. Schs., 95
Ark.App. 248, 235 S.W.3d 905 (2006). Substantial evidence is
such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion. Id.
issue is whether Menser timely filed a claim for additional
medical benefits. It is the claimant's burden to prove
that he or she acted within the time allowed for filing a
claim for additional compensation. Stewart v. Ark. Glass
Container, 2010 Ark. 198, 366 S.W.3d 358. Arkansas Code
Annotated section 11-9-702 sets forth the following
(b) Time for filing additional compensation.
(1) In cases in which any compensation, including disability
or medical, has been paid on account of injury, a claim for
additional compensation shall be barred unless filed with the
commission within one (1) year from the date of the last
payment of compensation or two (2) years from the date of the
injury, whichever is greater.
. . . .
(c) A claim for additional compensation must specifically
state that it is a claim for additional compensation.
Documents which do not specifically request additional
benefits shall not be ...