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Forrest General Hospital v. Humphrey

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

April 15, 2014

FORREST GENERAL HOSPITAL, APPELLANT
v.
MICHAEL HUMPHREY, APPELLEE

TRIBUNAL FROM WHICH APPEALED: MISSISSIPPI WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/07/2013. TRIBUNAL AFFIRMED THE ORDER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE FINDING tat APPELLEE/CLAIMANT SUSTAINED A COMPENSABLE, WORK-RELATED INJURY.

FOR APPELLANT: JOSEPH O'CONNELL, GARY K. JONES.

FOR APPELLEE: WILLIAM H. JONES, DANIEL AUSTEN SILKMAN.

BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., ROBERTS AND FAIR, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING, P.J., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR. CARLTON, J., DISSENTS WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION. MAXWELL, J., NOT PARTICIPATING.

OPINION

Page 469

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - WORKERS' COMPENSATION

GRIFFIS, P.J.

¶1. Forrest General Hospital appeals the determination by the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission that Michael Humphrey suffered a compensable, work-related injury. The hospital argues that (1) the Commission erred when it based its finding of compensability on the hospital's voluntary payments of medical expenses and compensation benefits; and (2) the Commission's decision was not supported by substantial evidence. We find no error and affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2. Humphrey was employed as a security officer by the hospital. On May 14, 2008, Humphrey claims that he injured his back while he and two other security officers tried to restrain a young psychiatric patient who became violent and made a disturbance. The hospital's surveillance cameras captured the incident. The video revealed that Humphrey, along with the other officers and members of the medical staff, helped to restrain the uncooperative psychiatric patient after the patient was tackled and taken to the ground. Humphrey held one arm of the patient. Humphrey claims that this effort caused him to pull a muscle in his lower back. Humphrey then assisted the other officers as they rotated the patient on the floor, so he could be handcuffed, and eventually lifted and placed the patient on a stretcher.

¶3. Humphrey did not seek medical attention for the next several months. Humphrey testified that he felt he pulled a muscle in his back during the altercation and " didn't think much about it" afterwards. Humphrey, however, testified that the pain from the injury did not go away and even got worse, though he continued to work through it.

¶4. Humphrey testified that he was hesitant to file a workers' compensation claim even as his back injury worsened. Humphrey claimed that he was concerned about how the hospital's management would treat him due to the difficulty one of his fellow officers, Jerry Wade, faced after he filed a workers' compensation claim.

¶5. Humphrey first sought treatment for his back with Dr. Glenn Campbell, a general practitioner, on January 7, 2009, seven months after the accident. Dr. Campbell ordered an MRI of his back. Dr. Campbell referred Humphrey to Dr. David Clark Lee, a board-certified neurosurgeon.

¶6. At about the same time, Humphrey informed the hospital that he wanted to file a workers' ...


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