WORKER’S COMPENSATION LAW
Beverly Tull was employed by Atchison since 1989 and began having hand, wrist, and shoulder pain in the fall of 1999. She was referred to a physician who noted in April 2000 that her carpal tunnel syndrome was "severe enough" for surgery. In June 2000, the physician sent a letter to Atchison stating that Tull expressed to me that her shoulder is actually hurting more than her hands, and she has been anxious to have her carpal tunnel released since very early this year. However, she seems to be somewhat of a silent sufferer and has been willing to hold off on surgical intervention. However,
we are having trouble with insurance coverage. Also, she has used an extra dose of Celebrex to control her pain so she can ...view middle of the document...
Tull underwent a left carpal tunnel release surgery on December 11, 2000, and returned to work approximately 6 weeks later on January 23, 2001.
At a February 7, 2001, hearing, neither the surgeon's bill nor the hospital bill had been paid. Tull requested the ALJ order temporary total disability (TTD) from December 11, 2000, through January 23, 2001. After joining other carriers, the ALJ ordered Superior and Atchison to pay Tull TTD at the rate of $195.68 per week for the period from December 11, 2000, to January 22, 2001.
On April 23, 2002, Berger Co. bought Atchison. The new employer adjusted Tull’s work so that it was less demanding and stressful, but she continued to suffer pain. In July, a physician diagnosed her condition as permanent. The board granted her permanent partial disability benefits. By May 2005, the bickering over the financial responsibility for Tull’s claim involved five insurers four of which had each covered Atchison for a single year and one of which covered Berger. Atchison and C & I filed a timely application for review before the Board. The Board noted, upon its review that "No one disputed her need for treatment or the causal connection between her symptoms and her work activities. Rather, it was merely a fight as between two companies that had contractual obligations to insure Atchison for workers compensation claims and their desire to avoid that liability, effectively delaying treatment with the obvious goal of depositing the liability on the subsequent carrier's doorstep. The Board resolved the "hotly contested issue" of date of injury by applying the last-day worked rule and by concluding Tull's date of injury was her last day worked with Atchison on April 23, 2002.