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Shawn Morrison v. Workers' Compensation Appeal

November 23, 2010

SHAWN MORRISON, PETITIONER
v.
WORKERS' COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (ROTHMAN INSTITUTE), RESPONDENT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Patricia A. McCULLOUGH, Judge

ORDER AND NOW, this 2nd day of March, 2011, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the above-captioned opinion filed November 23, 2010 shall be designated

OPINION rather than MEMORANDUM OPINION and it shall be reported.

IN THE COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA

Shawn Morrison, : Petitioner : v. : Workers' Compensation Appeal : Board (Rothman Institute), : Respondent :

No. 403 C.D. 2010

Submitted: July 9, 2010

BEFORE: HONORABLE DAN PELLEGRINI, Judge HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge HONORABLE JOHNNY J. BUTLER, Judge

OPINION

BY JUDGE McCULLOUGH

Shawn Morrison (Claimant) petitions for review of the March 9, 2010, order of the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (WCAB), which affirmed the decision of a workers' compensation judge (WCJ) denying Claimant's claim petition. We also affirm.

Claimant worked for Rothman Institute (Employer) for approximately three years prior to his discharge on January 19, 2007. On June 6, 2007, Employer filed a notice of workers' compensation denial, which acknowledged that an April 4, 2006, injury in the nature of a lumbar sprain/strain took place, but denied that Claimant was disabled as a result of the injury. (Reproduced Record (R.R.) at 1a.)

On June 15, 2007, Claimant submitted a claim petition alleging that he sustained a work-related injury to his lower back and right leg; Claimant sought lost wages, medical bills, and counsel fees. Employer filed a timely answer denying those allegations, and the matter was assigned to a WCJ.

In support of his claim petition, Claimant testified that he worked for Employer as an x-ray clerk from October 18, 2004, to January 19, 2007. Claimant stated that on April 19, 2006, he was called to the MRI office to assist a patient who had fallen from a wheelchair. Claimant indicated that, after he lifted the man back into the wheelchair, he walked upstairs to his department and experienced pain in his back and right leg. Claimant testified that he submitted an incident report to his manager, Lynn West, that day and also scheduled an evaluation with Theodore D. Conliffe, M.D., a physician at the Rothman Institute, for May 24, 2006. Claimant stated that he continued working for Employer without accommodations until January, 19, 2007, when Employer terminated his employment. Claimant added that he applied for and received unemployment benefits, which continued until June 24, 2007, when he began working for his current employer, Delaware Valley Community Health.

Claimant offered Dr. Conliffe's May 24, 2006, evaluation, which indicates that Claimant denied any injury to Dr. Conliffe and instead reported a three year history of chronic recurrent lower back pain, which began insidiously and worsened over the preceding six months. At that time, Dr. Conliffe diagnosed Claimant with chronic lower back pain but scheduled an MRI to rule out the possibility of lumbar disc herniation. Dr. Conliffe referred Claimant for the MRI, prescribed Celebrex ...


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