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Leflore County Bd. of Supervisors v. Golden

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

February 18, 2014

LEFLORE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND MISSISSIPPI PUBLIC ENTITY WC TRUST, APPELLANTS
v.
MARLIN E. GOLDEN, JR., APPELLEE

Page 883

TRIBUNAL FROM WHICH APPEALED: MISSISSIPPI WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/25/2013. TRIBUNAL DISPOSITION: AWARDED CLAIMANT PERMANENT AND TOTAL DISABILITY BENEFITS.

FOR APPELLANTS: COURTNEY TITUS DAVIS, RICHARD MACK EDMONSON JR.

FOR APPELLEE: AL CHADICK III.

BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., ROBERTS, AND FAIR, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, CARLTON, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR.

Page 884

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - WORKERS' COMPENSATION

ROBERTS, J.

[¶1] Marlin E. Golden Jr. injured his back and leg on October 18, 2009, while in the scope of his employment as a deputy sheriff in Leflore County. The Leflore County Board of Supervisors and its insurance carrier, Mississippi Public Entity WC Trust (collectively Board), admitted compensability, but they disputed the extent of Golden's disability. The administrative judge (AJ) found Golden to be permanently, totally disabled as a result of his work-related injuries. The Board appealed this finding to the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission, and the Commission affirmed the AJ's findings.

[¶2] Employing our limited standard of review, we are unable to say the Commission erred as a matter of law or acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner. Therefore, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[¶3] Prior to beginning his career as a deputy sheriff in 1993, Golden had worked as a truck driver and a farmer. Golden remained employed as a deputy sheriff from 1993 until his injury on October 18, 2009. After injuring his back and leg while chasing a person of interest, Golden initially sought treatment from the hospital and later followed up with his family doctor, Dr. Wally Moses. Dr. Moses referred him to Dr. Michael Winkelmann. Dr. Winkelmann ordered an MRI of Golden's back; he then referred Golden to Dr. Greg Wood, who reviewed Golden's MRI and determined that Golden was not a candidate for surgery. Dr. Wood recommended Golden receive injections for his back pain from Dr. Jeffrey Summers.[1] Golden also underwent physical therapy for his injury, but it was discontinued due to lesions on his feet.

[¶4] Sheriff Ricky Banks completed a Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) Employer's Certification of Job Requirements on March 2, 2010, and PERS approved Golden's claim for duty-related disability benefits on June 4, 2010. On June 7, 2010, Golden tendered his resignation letter to Sheriff Banks and has not performed a job search since that time. On January 5-6, 2011, Golden was given a functional capacity evaluation (FCE). As a result of the FCE, Dr. Winkelmann placed Golden at maximum medical improvement (MMI) on March 29, 2010, and assigned a 12% impairment rating to the body as a whole. Golden was also assigned restrictions on lifting more than fifteen pounds. Golden applied for PERS disability and was approved to receive it in June 2010.

[¶5] On May 16, 2012, the AJ held a hearing on Golden's workers' compensation claim. At the hearing, Golden testified that he was diagnosed with diabetes in 1985, but ...


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