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Craddock v. Whirlpool Corp.

March 09, 1999

WILLIAM D. CRADDOCK APPELLANT
v.
WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION, A SELF-INSURED APPELLEE



Before Bridges, C.j., Coleman, And Irving, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bridges, C.j.

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 01/26/1998

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. R. KENNETH COLEMAN

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LAFAYETTE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - WORKERS' COMPENSATION

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CIRCUIT COURT AFFIRMED COMM'N FINDING OF NO PERMANENT DISABILITY

¶1. William Craddock perfected this appeal from the Lafayette County Circuit Court affirming the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission finding that Craddock suffered no permanent disability from his on-the- job injury at Whirlpool Corporation. Finding substantial evidence to support the Commission's decision, we affirm.

FACTS

¶2. Craddock, a fifty-year-old white male, was employed by Whirlpool on August 15, 1993, as a dipper in the porcelain department. His job consisted of reaching overhead to a conveyor belt approximately seven feet above the ground and bringing down parts weighing about two pounds, dipping the parts in porcelain solution, and returning the parts to the conveyor belt. Craddock worked the afternoon shift. While performing these duties at approximately 5:00 p.m. on August 20, 1993, Craddock felt a tightness in his back, a burning sensation, and then a pop with shooting pain up underneath his right shoulder blade.

¶3. According to Craddock, he notified his supervisor, Aundra Jones, of his injury. Craddock was accompanied to the first-aid room where ice was placed on his back for approximately an hour. Craddock then returned to work until about 8:00 p.m. when he lost all motion on his left side. Again Craddock reported to Jones, and Craddock was taken to the emergency room of the hospital.

¶4. While at the hospital, an x-ray was taken of Craddock's back, and the doctor on duty prescribed a muscle relaxer and a shot for pain. Craddock was instructed to see Dr. William Spencer the following Monday.

¶5. After examining Craddock, Dr. Spencer prescribed Craddock medication, released Craddock to return to light duty work, and instructed him to come in every day for the remainder of the week for testing on his back.

¶6. Craddock returned to Whirlpool for light duty and was placed on a machine called a flow coater which required overhead lifting of frames from a conveyor belt and the occasional use of a long bar to straighten any twisted frame on the belt. The job was described as light duty or one of minimal movement and labor. However, the movement of reaching overhead caused Craddock pain. Craddock notified John Roberts, the safety coordinator, and Jones that he was unable to perform the job. According to Craddock, Roberts told him that if he could not handle the flow coater position which was the lightest position available, he should see Dr. Spencer and Craddock would be placed on medical leave.

ΒΆ7. Dr. Spencer referred Craddock to Dr. Wayne Terry Lamar, an orthopedic surgeon, on August 31, 1993. Dr. Lamar testified Craddock had a painful catch in his back and an acute muscle spasm. Dr. Lamar conducted a physical examination of Craddock. A lumbar spine x-ray showed Craddock had some hypertrophic changes at the lower dorsal spine between T12 and L1, changes at the interspace above T9-T10 and T11-T12 (which Dr. Lamar testified were unrelated to Craddock's injury on August 20), some disk space narrowing, and anterior osteophyte formation. Dr. Lamar treated Craddock with physical therapy modalities and work reconditioning with a regimen of anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants. On September 13, Craddock complained that the B200 machine used in the rehabilitation process hurt his back. According to Dr. Lamar, Craddock's complaints of pain seemed disproportionate to Dr. Lamar's physical findings, and Dr. Lamar discerned a functional component. Dr. ...


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