Monday, August 12, 2013

Summary 2013 WY 95

Summary of Decision August 12, 2013

Justice Davis delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed.

Case Name: In the Matter of the Worker’s Compensation Claim of: Kristi Leavitt v. State of Wyoming ex rel. Wyoming Workers’ Safety and Compensation Division

Docket Number: S-12-0234


Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County, the Honorable T.C. Campbell, Judge

Representing Appellant: Robert A. Nicholas, Nicholas Law Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming

Representing Appellee: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; Michael Finn, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Jackson M. Engels, Assistant Attorney General

Date of Decision: August 12, 2013

Facts: Appellant Kristi Leavitt experienced lower back pain after shoveling snow just before Christmas of 2009. She filed a claim for benefits with the Wyoming Workers’ Safety and Compensation Division, contending that her pain was causally related to a compensable back injury she had suffered in 1996. The Division denied the claim, and the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) upheld that decision after holding a contested case hearing. The district court for the First Judicial District affirmed the OAH ruling.

Issues: Leavitt raises four issues which we reorder and restate as follows: Was the OAH decision contrary to law? Did the hearing examiner act arbitrarily and capriciously or abuse his discretion? Were the hearing examiner’s findings of fact sufficient? Was the OAH decision supported by substantial evidence?

Holdings: We have determined that the OAH hearing examiner did not err as a matter of law when he disregarded Dr. Ross’ opinion as the cause of Leavitt’s injuries, that the hearing examiner’s findings of fact were sufficient, and that his decision was not contrary to the weight of the evidence even though certain findings not essential to the decision were incorrect. We therefore affirm the Opinion and Order of the district court.

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

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