Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Riverside Regional Jail Authority v. Dugger

Court of Appeals of Virginia

July 25, 2017

RIVERSIDE REGIONAL JAIL AUTHORITY AND VML INSURANCE PROGRAMS
v.
MORRISA DUGGER

         FROM THE VIRGINIA WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION

          Ralph L. Whitt, Jr. (Megan Kerwin Clark; Whitt & Del Bueno, PC, on brief), for appellants.

          No brief or argument for appellee.

          Present: Judges Humphreys, Decker and O'Brien Argued at Richmond, Virginia

          OPINION

          ROBERT J. HUMPHREYS, JUDGE

         Riverside Regional Jail Authority and VML Insurance Programs (collectively, "employer") appeal the January 3, 2017 decision of the Workers' Compensation Commission (the "commission") affirming the deputy commissioner's determination that Morrisa Dugger ("Dugger") "sustained a compensable injury by accident arising out of and in the course of her employment . . . and awarding medical benefits." Employer contends the commission erred because there was no credible evidence to support a finding that Dugger suffered an "injury by accident."

         I. BACKGROUND

         Dugger, a correctional officer with employer, filed a Workers' Compensation claim on March 1, 2016, alleging she sustained a work-related injury to her right knee during the course of her employment with employer. At the evidentiary hearing before a deputy commissioner on June 22, 2016, Dugger testified that on September 22, 2015, Dugger was in training on "defensive tactics" for employer. The physical training lasted from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, with an in-class portion and test to follow in the afternoon. During the physical training, Dugger testified, "I was tossed around a bit, which is usual because we, we show the [defensive] moves on each other in partners, we rotate partners every move that we do. And then I was tossed around and taken down, simulated fights, and that was it." Dugger first noticed pain in her right knee as she was walking away from the physical portion of the class, and noticed swelling in her knee later that day at Patient First. The pain in her right knee intensified when she went up the steps that day. Dugger never had problems with that knee in the past.

         Dugger reported the pain to her instructor, and was eventually told by one of her supervisors that she should go to Patient First. Dugger arrived at Patient First at "almost 3:00" in the afternoon on the day of the injury. She was prescribed pain medication for the swelling in her knee and had "a few follow up visits" at Patient First. The medical records entered into evidence indicated that Dugger had sustained a right knee sprain during her defensive training. The physician also recommended that Dugger be restricted to "light duty work restrictions: desk job mainly" until September 26, 2015. The medical record for Dugger's follow-up appointment the next day noted that Dugger should avoid bearing weight on that knee and that an orthopedic referral might be necessary.

         Dugger had another follow-up appointment with Patient First on October 9, 2015; the medical record for that date states, "Right knee pain has almost completely resolved, but [Dugger] is having continued cracking in the knee and residual swelling." The treating physician on that day noted that Dugger "[m]ay have a torn meniscus. Will [follow up] in [one] month. Will refer to orthopedics if still symptomatic." At the follow-up appointment on November 13, 2015, the physician commented, "Clinically has an asymptomatic torn meniscus. Will [follow up] with the orthopedist for further evaluation."

          The deputy commissioner issued his opinion on June 27, 2016, and held:

Though the claimant did not articulate a specific onset of pain during her morning physical tactics training, she did reference "take downs" and being tossed around during that period, and to her doctor thereafter spoke of feeling "discomfort in the right knee" and the next day of "instant right knee pain" during training.
The [c]ommission finds the claimant a bit shy in her testimony, but nevertheless descriptive of an injury by accident, a knee sprain, at a reasonably definite period of time. Therefore, the [c]ommission finds the claimant has described an injury by accident which arose out of and in the course of employment on the morning of September 22, 2015.

         The deputy commissioner then awarded Dugger medical benefits for treatment of the sprained knee, and employer demanded a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.