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Archer v. City of Cameron

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, First Division

February 10, 2015

RUSTY ARCHER, Appellant-Respondent,
v.
CITY OF CAMERON AND MIDWEST PUBLIC RISK OF MISSOURI, Respondent-Appellants, TREASURER OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI- CUSTODIAN OF THE SECOND INJURY FUND, Respondent

Page 371

Appeal from Labor and Industrial Relations Commission.

Richard C. Wiles, Kansas City, MO, Counsel for Respondent.

Mary Anne Lindsey, St. Louis, MO, Counsel for Respondent-Appellant.

Steffanie Leah Stracke, Kansas City, MO, Counsel for Appellant-Respondent.

Before Division One: Thomas H. Newton, P.J., Lisa White Hardwick, Anthony Rex Gabbert, JJ. All concur.

OPINION

Page 372

Anthony Rex Gabbert, Judge

City of Cameron and its insurer, Midwest Public Risk of Missouri (" Employer" collectively), appeal the final award of the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission granting Rusty Archer permanent total disability benefits, medical expenses, and future medical care for a 2008 work injury. Employer asserts three points of error. First, Employer contends that the Commission erred as a matter of law in awarding permanent total disability for a 2008 work injury suffered by Archer because the Commission failed to apply the appropriate statutory standard in determining the nature and extent of Archer's disability from that injury. Second, Employer contends that the Commission erred as a matter of law in awarding Archer medical expenses. Third, Employer contends that the Commission erred in awarding Archer future medical treatment. We affirm.

On January 16, 2008, Archer, during the course of his employment with the City of Cameron, struck a manhole while driving a skid loader. The impact caused the skid loader to stop abruptly and caused Archer to hit the windshield and lose consciousness. Immediately after regaining consciousness, Archer felt neck, thoracic, and low back pain. Archer underwent care for cervical thoracic and cervical strains. He received a myriad of prescription medication, physical therapy and epidural injections without relief. In March of 2008, Dr. Daniel Bruning of PainCARE assessed Archer with low back pain, lumbar disk displacement, thoracic spine pain with spondylosis and trigger points at T6-T7 cervicalgia with bursitis, and rotary cuff syndrome AC joint of the left shoulder. On July 7, 2009, Dr. Terrance Pratt performed an independent medical examination and found the 2008 injury as the prevailing factor of cervicothoracic syndrome, cervical spondylolisthesis, low back pain, L5-S1 disk herniation, lumbar spondylolisthesis, chronic thoracic discomfort with radicular-type symptoms and left shoulder syndrome. Several doctors issued permanent restrictions and ratings as a result of the 2008 accident.

Archer continued to work for the employer, with accommodations, from the fall of 2008 until September 16, 2010. During that time, Archer received assistance from coworkers if he was unable to perform work tasks. He did not perform repetitive heaving lifting as he had done prior to the accident. He took frequent breaks where he sat in his truck throughout the workday in an effort to alleviate his pain. Sometimes Archer's coworkers would assist him in sitting down. Archer frequently missed work due to pain and sometimes had to leave work early. Archer's absences were deducted from his sick and vacation pay.

On September 1, 2010, Archer sustained another injury while bending over to shape a newly formed curb of concrete. Archer's foot slipped, causing a twisting and jarring sensation to his mid to low back. He was diagnosed with chronic and acute thoracic strain, myofascial syndrome, chronic lumbar strain and muscle spasms.

Archer brought two compensation claims against Employer. ...


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