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Sampson v. MTD Products

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

April 4, 2017

ARRISHA SAMPSON APPELLANT
v.
MTD PRODUCTS D/B/A MODERN LINE PRODUCT COMPANY APPELLEEARRISHA SAMPSON APPELLANT
v.
MTD PRODUCTS D/B/A MODERN LINE PRODUCT COMPANY APPELLEE

          Date of Judgment: 02/11/2016

         TRIBUNAL FROM WHICH MISSISSIPPI WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: AMANDA GRACE HILL ROGEN K. CHHABRA DARRYL MOSES GIBBS.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: DANIEL PAUL CULPEPPER.

          BEFORE IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND WILSON, JJ.

          IRVING, P.J.

         ¶1. Arrisha Sampson appeals the judgment of the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission (Commission), arguing that the Commission erred in determining that she failed to prove she suffered a disability that amounted to an industrial loss of use greater than the medical impairment percentage she was assigned by her doctor.[1]

         ¶2. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶3. Sampson began working for MTD Products (MTD) in 2010 as a production assembler. As a production assembler, she was required to stoop, kneel, crouch, and regularly lift and/or move items weighing ten to twenty-five pounds. On May 15, 2012, a piece of galvanized steel fell and lacerated Sampson's left ankle. She was treated at a clinic and returned to work within a few days. On September 18, 2012, Sampson hyperextended the same ankle.[2] Sampson, again, went to a clinic for treatment; however, on this occasion she was referred to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kurre Luber. In November 2012, Dr. Luber performed surgery on Sampson's ankle to treat a torn Achilles tendon. In January 2013, while still attending therapy, she returned to work for MTD.[3] On April 22, 2013, Dr. Luber placed Sampson at maximum medical improvement with no restrictions, assigning her a two-percent permanent medical impairment rating to her left lower extremity due to her work injury.

         ¶4. The parties stipulated that there were no issues regarding Sampson's temporary disability or her medical treatment. However, the parties disagreed on the existence and extent of permanent disability attributable to her injuries. In May 2013, Sampson filed her petitions to controvert with the Commission. After a hearing, the administrative judge (AJ) found that Sampson had suffered a ten-percent industrial loss of use to her left lower extremity and would be entitled to proportional disability benefits.

         ¶5. MTD appealed that decision, and the full Commission reversed the AJ's decision and found that Sampson was only entitled to a two-percent industrial loss of use, consistent with Dr. Luber's two-percent permanent medical impairment rating. Sampson now appeals the decision of the Commission to this Court.

         DISCUSSION

         ¶6. The standard of review in a workers' compensation case is well settled: "If the findings of the Commission are supported by substantial evidence, then they are binding on this Court. As to matters of law, our review is de novo, but the [Commission's] interpretation of workers' compensation law is to be accorded great weight and deference." Kimbrough ...


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