COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: NOXUBEE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/05/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LEE J. HOWARD. TRIAL COURT AFFIRMED DECISION OF MISSISSIPPI WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION.
FOR APPELLANT: CHRISTOPHER HEDERI NEYLAND.
FOR APPELLEES: BRYAN GRAY BRIDGES.
ROBERTS, J. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, CARLTON, MAXWELL AND FAIR, JJ., CONCUR. JAMES, J., DISSENTS WITH SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION.
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - WORKERS' COMPENSATION
¶1. The Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission (Commission) reversed an administrative judge's (AJ) decision tat Shelton Smiley was entitled to workers' compensation benefits for an alleged on-the-job injury he suffered while working for Hercules Concrete Plumbing Service Inc. in February 2008. Smiley appealed the Commission's decision to the Noxubee County Circuit Court, and the circuit court affirmed the Commission's decision. Smiley has now appealed and asks this Court to determine whether the circuit court's decision to affirm was supported by substantial evidence and whether its decision was arbitrary or capricious. Finding no error, we affirm.
¶2. Smiley, an employee of Hercules since July 1998, was working a job in Noxubee County on February 14, 2008, that required him to connect approximately ten-foot sections of pipe through which cement would be poured. Though there is contradictory testimony as to how the injury occurred and the events following, Smiley claims that he injured his lower back while completing the job that day. Smiley claims that he reported the injury to Eli Sanchez, his coworker, to Kenny Barker, the dispatcher at Hercules, and to Paul Shelley, Hercules's president, on the same day as the injury. Barker and Shelley testified that Smiley never informed them that the injury was an on-the-job injury. However, Smiley is adamant that he informed individuals at Hercules several times that it was an on-the-job injury.
¶3. Shelley explained that he had asked Smiley multiple times whether the injury was an on-the-job injury, because they would need to fill out some paperwork; however, Smiley never indicated to him that this was necessary and never
asked to have the paperwork filled out for the injury. Shelley testified that there was a procedure all employees followed when an on-the-job injury occurred. The employee was to report the injury to Shelley, who would fill out the appropriate paperwork. The employee would then be evaluated and treated at Baptist Occupational Medical Center, located across the street from Hercules. Shelley further testified that Smiley was familiar with this procedure, as he had been injured in the past ...