Parsons v. WSI

20130197 Warren Parsons, Appellant
Workforce Safety and Insurance Fund, Appellee

Appeal from: District Court, Northeast Judicial District, Ramsey County
Judge Donovan John Foughty
Nature of Action: Workers Compensation
Appellant: Dean J. Haas
Appellee: Lolita G Hartl Romanick
Term: 10/2013   Argument: 10/01/2013
ND cite: 2013 ND 235
NW cite: 841 N.W.2d 404

Listen to recording of oral argument in MP3 format

Issues: Appellant's Statement of the Issues:
1. Whether the ALJ's factual findings that Parsons sustained a work-related cervical strain and a microscopic tear to his discs resulting in discogenic and myofascial pain requires an award under the Act.
2. Whether the Act bars compensation for Parson's work-related disc tear as not morphologically or structurally "significant" as to be visualized on an MRI.
3. Whether the Act bars a claim for benefits because the work injury eventually resolves or cannot resolve because it combined with a preexisting condition to be of a longer duration than would otherwise be the case.
4. Whether the ALJ's finding that Parsons' preexisting asymptomatic degenerative disc disease made him vulnerable and susceptible to these injuries to the intervertebral discs in his cervical spine is a complete defense as a noncompensable natural progression of a preexisting condition under N.D.C.C.  65-01-02(10)(b)(7).
. 5. Whether Parsons' work injury that resulted in the above described physical injuries and chronic myofascial pain is compensable under N.D.C.C.  65-01-02(10)(b)(7) by acting on a preexisting susceptibility, or whether the work injury must be the sole cause of his damages.
6. Whether the ALJ has adequately addressed the substantial medical evidence favorable to Parsons.

Appellee's Statement of the Issues:
[1] Could reasonable minds have reasonably found Parsons failed to prove that he sustained a compensable injury?
[2] Did the Administrative Law Judge properly apply N.D.C.C. 65-01-02(10)(b)(7) in determining that Parsons's pre-existing Cervical degenerative disc disease was neither substantially worsened in severity nor substantially accelerated in progression?
[3] Did the Administrative Law Judge properly apply N.D.C.C. 65-05-08.3 when he determined that opinions of WSI's IME physician, Dr. Janssen were more credible and persuasive than those of Dr. Fleissner, the treating provider?
[4] Must Parsons's request for attorney's fees be denied because he has not established that WSI acted without substantial justification?

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Docket entries:
106/27/2013 NOTICE OF APPEAL: 06/27/2013
207/09/2013 DISK-Transcript of Administrative Agency Hearing dated March 6, 2012 (e-mailed)
307/18/2013 ELEC. RECORD ON APPEAL DATED July 18, 2013 (ENTRY NOS.1-38)(2012-CV-00145)
407/18/2013 ELEC. RECORD ON APPEAL DATED July 18, 2013 (ENTRY NOS.1-37)(2012-CV-00342)
508/06/2013 APPELLANT BRIEF (PDF) (2012-CV-00145)
608/06/2013 E-FILED BRIEF (PDF)
808/06/2013 E-FILED APPENDIX
908/09/2013 Rec'd $25 surcharge for the ATB & ATA (receipt #22007)
1008/12/2013 AMENDED ELEC. RECORD ON APPEAL DATED August 12, 2013 (ENTRY NOS.1-39)
1108/12/2013 Rec'd 2-Disc listed on event #16 from district court (sent by U.S.)
1208/13/2013 Rec'd 7 copies of the ATB & 6 copies of the ATA
1308/19/2013 ELEC. SUPP. RECORD ON APPEAL DATED AUGUST 19, 2013 (ENTRY NOS. 40-41) (SENT BY U.S. MAIL #41)
1408/21/2013 Rec'd Register of Actions record item #41 from district court
1509/05/2013 APPELLEE BRIEF (PDF)
1609/05/2013 E-FILED BRIEF (PDF)
1809/05/2013 E-FILED APPENDIX
1909/09/2013 Rcv'd 7 copies of AEB & 6 copies of AEA from CSD
2009/09/2013 Rcv'd $25 surcharge for AEB (receipt #22208)
2209/18/2013 REPLY BRIEF (PDF)
2309/18/2013 E-FILED BRIEF (PDF)
2409/19/2013 Rcv'd 7 copies of RYB from CSD
2510/13/2013 APPEARANCES: Dean J. Haas; Lolita G. Hartl Romanick
2610/01/2013 ARGUED: Dean J. Haas; Lolita G. Hartl Romanick
2912/19/2013 SPLIT OPINION: Maring, Mary Muehlen
3012/19/2013 DISSENT: Crothers, Daniel John: DISSENT
3112/19/2013 DISSENT/JOIN: Sandstrom, Dale V.: JN/DIS
3212/19/2013 Costs on appeal taxed in favor of Appellant
3312/20/2013 Judgment Sent to Parties
3401/16/2014 MANDATE
3602/19/2014 Corrected/Substitute Opinion Page - paragraph 20, page 9, line 5 after quotation

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