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Harris v. Industrial Commission

Supreme Court of Arizona

December 15, 1952

HARRIS
v.
INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION.

Page 891

[75 Ariz. 72] Beumler & Beumler, of Douglas, for petitioner.

Robert E. Yount, Phoenix, for respondent Industrial Commission. Perry M. Ling and Robert W. Pickrell, Phoenix, of counsel.

PHELPS, Justice.

This is a review by certiorari of an award of the Industrial Commission of Arizona[75 Ariz. 73] denying petitioner, L. E. Harris, compensation for permanent partial disability because of an injury to his back and for hospital benefits for the operation.

L. E. Harris, petitioner herein, was injured on January 26, 1948, by an accident which arose out of and in the course of his employment in which he suffered a compression fracture of the fifth thoracic vertebra and a compound fracture of the distal ends of the left tibia and fibia.

On February 18, 1948, the commission entered its findings and order and stated that the petitioner was entitler to accident benefits.

On July 20, 1949, the applicant was examined by a consulting board consisting of Doctors Littlefield, Swartzmann and Hastings who took into consideration the then existing complaints of petitioner Harris and stated:

'It is the opinion of the undersigned examiners that this man has postural deficiencies in his back, independent of the injury, which are sufficient to account for his back complaints. From a standpoint of clinical findings, there is little, if anything, referable to the injury demonstrable in his back. It is our opinion that his complaints are out of all proportion to the physical findings or to the X-ray findings so far as the spine is concerned. We feel that a brace is not indicated, since it will additionally fix his attention upon his back complaints. * * *' (Emphasis supplied.)

On August 31, 1949, Dr. E. W. Adamson, the family physician of petitioner, and who was then attending him professionally, wrote the commission a letter disagreeing with the finding of the medical board and asserted that in his opinion petitioner had sustained a permanent back injury as a result of the accident in question.

On September 21, 1949, the commission entered its findings and award for scheduled permanent disability. It awarded petitioner all of his accident benefits until September 2, 1949, and further awarded him compensation for total temporary disability from January 27, 1948, through September 2, 1949, in the sum of $4,880.88 and for permanent partial disability equal to 20% loss of function of the left leg in the sum of $184.80 monthly for ten months.

After the order of September 21, 1949, was made, petitioner made application for rehearing on October 21, 1949, based primarily on his alleged back injury.

On December 5, 1949, pursuant to a request of the claims department, the petitioner was examined by the medical advisory board and their findings at that time relative to his back injury were described as being entirely of psychological origin.

On the 16th day of January, 1950, the commission entered an order denying the rehearing.

[75 Ariz. 74] After granting another rehearing and hearing evidence thereon both at Douglas and at Phoenix, the commission on November 18, 1950, entered an order that the findings of September 21, 1949, be affirmed.

Another petition for rehearing was made and the same denied on April 21, 1951, by the commission. On February 1, 1952, petitioner again filed a petition for ...


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