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MARY CAROL HUDSON v. KEYSTONE SENECA WIRE CLOTH COMPANY AND TRAVELERS INSURANCE COMPANY

JANUARY 15, 1986

MARY CAROL HUDSON
v.
KEYSTONE SENECA WIRE CLOTH COMPANY AND TRAVELERS INSURANCE COMPANY



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, HAWKINS AND ANDERSON

HAWKINS, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

This is an appeal from a judgment of the circuit court of Lincoln County reversing the order of the Workmen's Compensation Commission affirming an order of an attorney referee awarding compensation. We affirm, agreeing with the circuit court that the decision by the Workmen's Compensation Commission was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence.

FACTS

 On April 14, 1981, Mrs. Mary Carol Hudson filed a motion to controvert, to which an answer was made. She alleged two work related injuries, one to her back on June 18, 1979, and one to her foot on March 11, 1980. The employer carrier admitted the leg injury and compensated Mrs. Hudson for it. The sole question on this appeal concerns the back injury Mrs. Hudson allegedly incurred while in the employ of the Keystone Seneca Wire Cloth Company on June 18, 1979.

 When the matter came for hearing, Mrs. Hudson testified that on June 18, 1979, while pulling a roll of wire, she injured her low back. She stated that she informed a fellow employee of the back injury, and that on the following day, June 19, 1979, she consulted Dr. A.L. Lott of Brookhaven for her back injury. She further testified that on Dr. Lott's advice, she remained in bed and returned to work on some date after July 4, 1979. The plant was closed for approximately seven days following July 1, 1979, and Mrs.

 Hudson actually returned to work when the plant re-opened.

 Mrs. Hudson testified that she experienced back pain and had a burning sensation down her right leg. She further stated that she was never able to adequately perform her job following this injury. Dr. Lott did not testify in this cause. Mrs. Hudson stated that she could not remember whether or not she informed her supervisor, Helen Munn, that she had hurt her back on June 18, 1979.

 Mrs. Munn testified that Mrs. Hudson did not inform her on June 18, 1979, that she had injured her back, nor did she ever inform her of a back injury. The absentee report prepared by Mrs. Munn on June 18, 1979, establishes that Mrs. Hudson worked four hours and was then allowed to go home due to sickness. The absentee report for June 19, 1979, establishes that Mrs. Hudson worked seven and one-fourth hours on that date and was allowed by her supervisor to go home due to sickness.

 Mrs. Hudson subsequently saw five doctors, at least two of whom were orthopedists, for various ailments during a period of time in which she was allegedly experiencing back pain. She did not relate to any of these doctors that she was suffering from back pain.

 Mrs. Hudson's primary doctor for the back injury was Dr. John Carl Passman, an orthopedic surgeon. He initially saw Mrs. Hudson on May 28, 1980, almost a year after she sustained the back injury. At that time Mrs. Hudson gave Dr. Passman a history of an injury to her low back in June of 1979. She told Dr. Passman that her low back pain had persisted since that time and that she had not had any leg pain until she dropped a spool on her right leg on March 11, 1980.

 Mrs. Hudson sustained a further injury in April of 1981 when her 120 pound daughter fell on her.

 Dr. Passman gave his opinion that Mrs. Hudson's back injury was work related, based almost entirely upon the history which she had related to him.

 Ruth O. Williamson, a co-employee of Mrs. Hudson at the time of the injury, testified that she remembered Mrs. Hudson telling her sometime before August of 1979 that she had hurt her back. Williamson testified that Mrs. Hudson went home sick one night without telling her why, and when she returned the following Sunday ...


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