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Walker v. Williams Transp., LLC

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

May 20, 2014

WILLIAM WALKER, APPELLANT
v.
WILLIAMS TRANSPORT, LLC AND ARCH INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLEES

TRIBUNAL FROM WHICH APPEALED: MISSISSIPPI WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/10/2013. TRIBUNAL DISMISSED CLAIM DUE TO CLAIMANT'S INTOXICATION.

FOR APPELLANT: TAYLOR R. BRINKLEY, H. ALEXANDER BRINKLEY.

FOR APPELLEES: L. MATTHEW QUINLIVAN, FREDERIC THEODORE LE CLERCQ.

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

OPINION

Page 118

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - WORKERS' COMPENSATION

ISHEE, J.

¶1. In July 2011, William Walker was employed with Williams Transport LLC as a truck driver. While working, Walker exited his truck, fell, and was injured. He received medical attention at a nearby hospital shortly after the accident where a urinalysis revealed cocaine in his system. Walker filed a petition to controvert with the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission against Williams Transport. In July 2012, an administrative judge (AJ) found Walker's intoxication to be the proximate cause of the injury and dismissed the claim. The Commission affirmed the AJ's findings and Walker now appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

¶2. While employed with Williams Transport, Walker was working in Texas driving an eighteen-wheeler truck. On July 18, 2012, Walker drove the eighteen-wheeler to a truck scale to be weighed. When exiting the truck, he claims to have slipped and fallen several feet to the ground below. He testified to having back and rib pain from the fall.

¶3. After reporting his injuries to his supervisor, Terry Bass, he was instructed to seek medical attention at a nearby hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana. During his time at the hospital, he submitted to a urinalysis. Shortly thereafter, he was informed that his urinalysis tested positive for cocaine.

¶4. On August 19, 2011, Walker filed a petition to controvert against Williams Transport, claiming work-related injuries stemming from his fall. In response, Williams Transport raised the affirmative defense of intoxication due to Walker's positive drug test at the hospital. In July 2012, the AJ held a compensability hearing. Several witnesses testified, including Walker, Bass, and Dr. William George, an expert in toxicology and pharmacology.

¶5. Walker explained that during the time in question, his ...


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