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02/24/98 MARY BRINSTON v. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES'

MARY BRINSTON, APPELLANT
v.
PUBLIC EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, APPELLEE



DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/30/96 TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WILLIAM F. COLEMAN COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

Before: Bridges, C.j., Coleman, And Diaz, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Diaz, J., For The Court:

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - STATE BOARDS AND AGENCIES (OTHER THAN WORKERS' COMPENSATION)

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED OPINION AND ORDER OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM

DISPOSITION AFFIRMED - 02/0924/98

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

CERTIORARI FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

¶1. This is an appeal by Mary Brinston from the decision of the Hinds County Circuit Court. The circuit court affirmed the decision of the Board of Trustees of the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) denying Brinston retirement benefits. PERS Board held that there was insufficient evidence that the disability sustained by Brinston was a direct result of an accident or traumatic event which occurred in the line of performance of duty. Brinston now appeals to this Court.

FACTS

¶2. Brinston was employed as a Mental Health Direct Care Worker at the Ellisville State School. She was employed with them on two separate occasions. The first was from 1982 until 1987 and the second was from December 1, 1991 through August 24, 1994. She has been diagnosed with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. However, it is not exactly clear when the diagnosis was made. The Board of Trustee's findings of facts state that the diagnosis was made prior to her second period of employment with Ellisville, yet the record shows that the diagnosis was made on February 12, 1992, two months after her second period of employment and approximately fifteen months prior to her injury. No matter which of these dates is correct, they both predate the injury in question.

¶3. While tending to a patient on May 7, 1993, Brinston was shoved against a wall and fell against her shoulder. Brinston had two years of creditable service at the time of the incident. While admitting that she had difficulty with her hands prior to the incident, Brinston claims duty-related disability due to the fall because she claims that the condition worsened after the fall.

¶4. Brinston filed for hurt-on-the-job retirement benefits which were denied by the PERS Medical Board and Board of Trustees due to insufficiency of medical evidence to support the assertion that Brinston's disability was the direct result of an accident or traumatic event occurring in the line of performance of duty. Brinston appealed this decision to the Hinds County Circuit Court which upheld the lower decision of the Board of Trustees. Brinston now appeals to this Court contending:

I. THE CIRCUIT COURT COMMITTED ERROR IN HOLDING THAT THE AND ORDER OF THE PERS BOARD OF TRUSTEES WAS ...


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