Monday, March 19, 2012

Summary 2012 WY 38

Summary of Decision March 14, 2012

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Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court

Case Name: In the Matter of the Wyoming Worker’s Compensation Claim of: Michael Beall #2 v. Sky Blue Enterprises, Inc.

Docket Number: S-11-0162


Appeal from the District Court of Carbon County, Honorable Wade E. Waldrip, Judge

Representing Appellant (Plaintiff/Defendant): Donna D. Domonkos, Domonkos Law Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee (Plaintiff/Defendant): Bradley T. Cave, Maryt L. Fredrickson, and Isaac N. Sutphin, Holland & Hart, LLP, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Date of Decision: March 14, 2012

Facts: Appellant, Michael Beall, received preauthorization from the Wyoming Workers’ Safety and Compensation Division for an orchiectomy, a procedure to remove his left testicle, which he claimed was related to a workplace injury. Mr. Beall’s employer, Sky Blue Enterprises, Inc., objected to the preauthorization and the matter was referred to the Medical Commission Hearing Panel for a contested case hearing. Mr. Beall elected to undergo the surgery prior to the scheduled hearing. The Commission denied Mr. Beall’s claim for reimbursement of medical expenses on the basis that the surgery was not reasonable or necessary medical care resulting from his workplace injury. Mr. Beall appealed to the district court, which affirmed the Commission’s order. He challenges that decision in this appeal.

Issues: Mr. Beall presents the following issues: Whether the Medical Commission’s decision is arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise not in accordance with the law as a result of the fact that Mr. Beall was required to bear the burden of proving his claim for reimbursement of medical expenses. Whether the Medical Commission’s decision is supported by substantial evidence.

Appellee, Sky Blue, states the issues as follows: Whether placing the burden of proof on the claimant Mr. Beall was in accordance with well-settled law and not arbitrary or capricious. Whether the Medical Commission’s decision that Mr. Beall’s orchiectomy and associated medical treatment was not reasonable, necessary, nor causally related to his workplace accident of October 13, 2008, and thus was a noncompensable injury, is supported by substantial evidence.

Holdings: Affirmed.

Justice Burke delivered the opinion for the court.

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