FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION [NO.
& Chapman, by: Thomas W. Mickel and Brooklyn R. Parker,
Law Firm, PLLC, by: Frank Newell and Breana Ott Mackey, for
F. VIRDEN, Judge
Clark appeals the Workers' Compensation Commission's
("the Commission") decision finding that he failed
to prove that he sustained a specific-incident compensable
injury while working for Williamson G.C., Inc.
("Williamson"). On appeal, Clark argues that the
Commission's finding is not supported by substantial
evidence. We affirm.
March 8, 2016, Clark was working as a welder for Williamson
when he claimed he injured his right elbow while on the job.
Clark filed a compensation claim. After initially accepting
liability, Williamson controverted the claim in its entirety
and denied that Clark was entitled to further medical
benefits and temporary total-disability benefits. The case
proceeded to a hearing before an administrative law judge
hearing, Clark testified that he was working at Williamson
the morning of March 8, 2016, when he was injured. Clark
explained that he reached for his "heli-arc rig"
after he had finished welding, and when he pulled it toward
him, he felt a "pop" at the top of his right elbow.
Clark testified that after lunch he reported the incident to
the safety manager who told him to "wait a couple of
days and see how it was and let him know." Clark
testified that later that day he told the safety manager that
his elbow still hurt, but his employer refused to send him to
a doctor. The next day, Clark went to see his primary-care
physician, Dr. Robert Woodrome. Clark testified that he told
Dr. Woodrome about the injury and that he also told the
doctor about his arthritis and the chronic pain in his lower
back and ankle. Dr. Woodrome did not prescribe any treatment
for Clark's elbow, but Clark testified that Dr. Woodrome
told him he needed to apply for workers' compensation.
Clark testified that he continued to work despite the pain,
which was bad enough that it kept him from sleeping. Dr.
Woodrome's progress notes showed that Clark's chief
complaints were hypertension, chronic pain, enlarged
prostate, and arthritis. There was no notation in Dr.
Woodrome's notes that Clark was there to discuss or
receive treatment related to an injury to his elbow, and
under the "musculoskeletal" heading, Dr. Woodrome
noted Clark's back pain and arthritis-related pain and
that Clark denied carpal tunnel syndrome, joint stiffness,
leg cramps, and muscle aches and spasms. Dr. Woodrome
assessed that Clark suffered from hypertension, chronic
fatigue, osteoarthritis, and an enlarged prostate.
recounted that on April 11, 2016, he was examined by
orthopedic physician Dr. Daniel Fuentes and that he told Dr.
Fuentes about the injury to his elbow. Clark stated that Dr.
Fuentes did not prescribe any treatment or perform any
treatment in the office. The physician's notes show that
Clark was there for a follow-up visit regarding right-arm
pain that he claimed resulted from a work-related injury. The
notes show that Clark had pain and "fullness" near
the lateral epicondyle, and Dr. Fuentes recorded that his
impression of the complaint was "acute on chronic right
elbow pain with history of lateral
testified that in May he was examined by Dr. Pavan
Pinnamaneni, a family doctor he had seen before, who gave him
medication for the pain in his arm. Dr. Pinnamaneni's
notes and the medical records show that Clark's arm pain
had begun five years earlier, that he had been diagnosed with
lateral epicondylitis, and that treatment for his condition
had begun in 2014. Dr. Pinnamaneni observed that Clark's
right lateral epicondyle was tender. Clark saw Dr.
Pinnamaneni again two weeks later, and the physician's
notes showed that the onset of Clark's right-elbow pain
had been five years earlier and that Clark had been treated
with heat therapy and pain medication.
9, 2016, Clark was examined by Dr. Bill Mathias, who noted
that Clark reported he suffered an injury to his right elbow
on March 8, 2016, and that though there was no swelling,
erythema, or warmth in the area, Clark claimed to have
increased pain. Dr. Mathias ordered an MRI and assessed the
results as follows:
Slightly increased signal intensity is present within the
common extensor tendon adjacent to its lateral humeral
epicondyle insertion. No tendon retraction is evident.
Increased signal intensity is present within the common
flexor tendon adjacent to its medial humeral epicondyle
insertion. No tendon retraction is evident.
1.Work-related injury 3-8-16.
2.Right distal bicep tendon strain.
3.Probable non-displaced avulsion injury of the right distal
biceps tendon insertion in to ...