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Thomas v. Industrial Commission of Arizona

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

November 21, 2013

ALIMAS THOMAS, Petitioner,
v.
THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF ARIZONA, Respondent, PHOENIX ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT #1, Respondent Employer, ARIZONA SCHOOL ALLIANCE FOR WORKER'S COMPENSATION, Respondent Carrier.

Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Special Action – Industrial Commission ICA Claim No. 20120-250177 Carrier Claim No. 2011025549A Administrative Law Judge Allen B. Shayo.

COUNSEL

Alimas Thomas, Phoenix Petitioner in Propria Persona.

Andrew Wade, Chief Counsel, Phoenix The Industrial Commission of Arizona Counsel for Respondent.

Klein Doherty Lundmark Barberich & LaMont PC, Phoenix By R. Todd Lundmark Counsel for Respondents Employer and Carrier.

Judge Samuel A. Thumma delivered the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Randall M. Howe and Judge Patricia A. Orozco joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

THUMMA, Judge.

¶1 Alimas Thomas challenges an award of the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) finding: (1) medical, surgical and hospital benefits should be paid from January 13, 2012 through February 27, 2012 and (2) temporary total or temporary partial disability benefits should be provided from January 13, 2012 through February 27, 2012. Because the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) did not err, relief is denied.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 On January 13, 2012, Thomas was working as a long-term substitute teacher for Phoenix Elementary School District No. 1. Thomas struck her forehead above her right eyebrow on a television cart that extended out from the wall in her classroom. The incident caused Thomas pain and resulted in a small laceration on her head that bled. The school nurse applied ointment and a bandage, and Thomas completed her work day without incident.

¶3 The next day, Thomas complained of a bad headache and sought emergency room treatment. A computed tomography (CT) scan of her head and a neurological examination did not reveal any abnormalities. Thomas continued to seek treatment for symptoms of dizziness, headaches, crying spells, memory loss and nausea and, by January 31, 2012, had seen five different medical professionals for her symptoms. Although additional tests were performed during these visits, no abnormalities were found.

¶4 On January 31, Thomas began to receive treatment from neurologist Dr. Javier Cardenas. Dr. Cardenas performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which was normal. Dr. Cardenas diagnosed Thomas with a concussion and noted that she had symptoms of post-concussive syndrome. Dr. Cardenas prescribed an anti-depressant and pain-relievers, although Thomas refused to take the medicines based on a concern about potential side-effects.

¶5 Dr. Cardenas saw Thomas about a month later. During that visit, Thomas reported feeling 70 percent improved. Dr. Cardenas recommended Thomas see a number of specialists, including an occupational therapist, physical therapist and consult with a psychiatrist and psychologist because of her continued symptoms. Thomas continued to see Dr. Cardenas about once a month through August 2012. At the time of the hearings, Thomas ...


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