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Queme v. IBP

6/21/2005

(Not Designated for Permanent Publication)


Inbody, Chief Judge, and Sievers and Cassel, Judges.


I. INTRODUCTION


Ana Romero Queme (Ana) appeals the decision of the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court review panel, which affirmed the decision of the Workers' Compensation Court trial judge, determining that Ana was entitled to temporary total disability benefits from August 6 to 30, 2002, for an injury that occurred within the course and scope of her employment with IBP, inc.


II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND


On August 18, 1997, Ana began working at IBP, bagging tails. Bagging tails requires the employee to consistently bend over and turn around during the 8-hour shift. Ana testified that she would bag six tails per minute and that she had to bend over and turn around for each tail. The parties stipulated that Ana was injured while working at IBP on January 15, 2001, and January 12, 2002.


Ana alleges that on January 15, 2001, she was using scissors to cut a tail, when she felt a pain in her hand and her thumb that radiated up to her shoulder and her neck. Ana reported the accident to her supervisor at IBP and received medical attention for the injury. Her medical records from IBP show that she had some physical restrictions until she was released to return to work "full duty" on June 15. Dr. Ian Crabb opined that Ana was at maximum medical improvement (MMI) with no permanent restrictions on March 20 and that she could perform her regular full-duty job on May 15.


On January 12, 2002, Ana injured her lower back while bagging tails. Ana received medical treatment for the injury. According to IBP's records, she was released to return to work full duty on February 20.


On July 16, 2002, Ana testified that she began feeling "a lot of pain" in her leg up to her hip on the right side. Ana testified that she has not worked at IBP since July 22. She claimed that she received a leave of absence from August 15 to September 14 to attend her father's funeral. However, IBP contends that Ana did not get an extension for her leave of absence and failed to show up for work, resulting in the termination of her employment on September 18. She has filled out applications for employment since the termination, but at the time of trial, she had not yet obtained employment. Ana testified that before she worked at IBP, she had been employed caring for a young boy, cleaning houses, and working at her sister's clothing store.


Several doctors provided medical evaluations of Ana. Dr. Mark H. Meyer's report was dated May 27, 2003. Dr. Meyer opined that his diagnoses for Ana's arm and shoulder were cervical spondylosis, which was not work related, as well as the following work-related conditions: impingement syndrome, acromioclavicular arthritis, small rotator cuff tear of the right shoulder, "trigger" thumb and finger, de Quervain's tenosynovitis, "CMC and IP" joint arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and regional pain disorder of the right upper extremity. He opined that for the "trigger problem and the carpal tunnel syndrome," Ana had reached MMI and had no permanent impairment rating and no restrictions. For the CMC and IP joint arthritis, she was at MMI and had a 4-percent impairment of the hand. Ana had not reached MMI for the de Quervain's tenosynovitis, the impingement syndrome, the acromioclavicular arthritis, or the possible rotator cuff tear. As to Ana's hip and back, he opined that she had low-back pain secondary to degenerative disk disease aggravated by work, which condition had resolved with no permanent physical impairment, and that she had trochanteric bursitis, which was work related and had not resolved. The low-back pain

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