Employee’s Testimony Supports Employment Related Injury

Claimant was employed as a produce clerk when he alleged that he injured his back while lifting a box of apples.  The OWC found that Claimant proved by a preponderance of the evidence that he was involved in an accident that arose out of the course and scope of his employment, and that the accident caused his disability.  Employer appealed, contending that the OWC erred in finding that Claimant met his burden of proof that an accident occurred in the course and scope of his employment that caused his disability.

This appeal presented the issue of whether the OWC’s factual findings were manifestly erroneous.  Employer argued that the OWC erred because Claimant had a long history of back injuries, and that there was no objective evidence that the condition was aggravated by Claimant’s employment.

In affirming the OWC’s decision, the appellate court found it reasonable for the OWC to credit Claimant’s uncontroverted testimony regarding the work related accident and his inability to work thereafter.  The appellate court recognized that the record was replete with evidence of Claimant’s back problems prior to the alleged work incident, but found that it was uncontroverted that Claimant was able to work until the date of his injury.

DeBlanc v. Albertsons, L.L.C.