Rehearing Denied January 8, 2020
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS COMPENSATION COMMISSION [NO.
A. Webb, Little Rock, for appellant.
Newkirk & Jones, by: David C. Jones, Little Rock, and Rick
Behring Jr., for appellees.
D. VAUGHT, Judge
Page appeals the January 16, 2019 opinion of the Arkansas
Workers Compensation Commission (Commission) finding that he
failed to prove that (1) his cervicothoracic syrinx is a
compensable consequence of injuries he received as a result
of a work-related motor-vehicle accident, and (2) he is
entitled to additional temporary total-disability (TTD)
benefits for the syrinx. On appeal, Page argues that
substantial evidence does not support the Commissions
opinion. We affirm.
July 20, 2016, Page, who installed internet and telephone
services for appellee Southwestern Bell Telephone Company
(SBTC), was driving his company van and was nearly stopped at
an intersection when he was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by
a third party traveling approximately fifty-five miles per
hour. Page testified that his head hurt after the accident
and that he was unable to finish working his shift. The next
morning, Page sought medical treatment for neck and back pain
along with right-arm tingling. From July 21, 2016, to
February 2, 2018, Page was treated for neck and back pain by
multiple doctors, including Dr. Joseph Deluca, Dr. Bill
Dedman, Dr. Jay Lipke, Dr. David Connor, Dr. Christopher
Mocek, Dr. P.B. Simpson, and Dr. Peter Campbell. Page also
had an independent medical examination (IME) performed by Dr.
was diagnosed with strains to his cervical and thoracic
spine. SBTC accepted these strains as compensable injuries
and paid all medical and TTD benefits for these injuries
through February 8, 2017. Page was also diagnosed with a
cervicothoracic syrinx or syringomyelia— a condition
characterized by the formation of a fluid-filled cavity or
cyst within the spinal cord. Page claimed that the syrinx was
a compensable injury caused by the motor-vehicle
accident and that he was entitled to additional medical and
TTD benefits. SBTC controverted the claim for additional
benefits for the syrinx, contending that it was not related
to the motor-vehicle accident.
hearing was held before an administrative law judge (ALJ) on
April 4, 2018, at which Page and his supervisor, Martin
Tunstall, testified and medical evidence was introduced. The
medical evidence confirms— and the parties do not
dispute— that Page suffers from a ...