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08/23/83 WILLIAM C. WIEDOWER v. ACF INDUSTRIES

August 23, 1983

WILLIAM C. WIEDOWER, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT
v.
ACF INDUSTRIES, INCORPORATED, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



From the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis; Civil Appeal; Judge George A. Adolf.

Before Pudlowski, P.j., Smith, Kelly, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Pudlowski

This is a claim brought under the Missouri Worker's Compensation Law. The Administrative Law Judge entered an award in favor of respondent. Appellant appealed to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission, which affirmed the Administrative Law Judge, one member of the Commission Dissenting. Thereafter, appellant appealed to the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, which affirmed the Commission. Appellant now prosecutes his appeal to this court. The issue to be addressed is (1) whether the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission erred in finding respondent to be disabled to the extent of sixty (60) percent of the body, and (2) whether the Commission erred in awarding respondent $7,409.76 in medical expenses. We affirm.

The evidence and facts upon which the Administrative Law Judge, the Commission and the Circuit Court based their decisions are as follows:

Respondent, William C. Wiedower, a production supervisor for appellant, A.C.F. Industries, Inc., was injured at work while attempting to move a railroad carriage wheel truck assembly along a track inside appellant's plant. Respondent's foot slipped causing him to drop to his left knee. He immediately experienced soreness and pain in his back. The injury occurred late on a Friday afternoon and the pain became more severe over the weekend causing respondent to visit St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Granite City, Illinois.

Respondent was initially diagnosed as having a lumbo-scaral strain with a possible herniated nucleus pulposus. Further examination indicated that respondent had sustained a herniated disc. Surgery was performed to alleviate the latter condition. As a result of the operation, a post-laminectomy snydrome resulted.

For the purpose of rating his injury and subsequent disability, respondent offered the testimony of Dr. Frederic M. Simowitz. Dr. Simowitz reported:

For the chronic, adhesive arachnoiditis and its consequent symptoms, 30 percent of the man as a whole.

For the chronic lumbo-scaral strain syndrome, 10 percent of the man as a whole.

No rating is offered for the herniated disc per se inasmuch as this has been surgically corrected and is not producing any of his present disability.

Thus, a total permanent partial disability rating of 40 percent of the man as a whole is offered.

Dr. Simowitz did not rate respondent's herniated lumbar disc, but limited his estimate of 40 percent disability to the continuing problems of chronic adhesive arachnoiditis and chronic lumbo-sacral strain syndrome.

Appellant's physician, Dr. Kuhlman, examined respondent. He rated respondent's injuries as 20 percent of the man as a whole, referring to the lower back. Dr. Kuhlman made no mention of the adhesive arachnoiditis or the strain.

In relation to the disabilities, respondent's medical expenses were processed by the employer through an employee-contributory health insurance plan and not through appellant's industrial relations office. This insurance plan is a contributory health and welfare plan that provides medical ...


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