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Charleston v. Industrial Commission of Arizona

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

November 26, 2013

MICHAEL L. CHARLESTON, Petitioner,
v.
THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF ARIZONA, Respondent, SCHUCK AND SONS CONSTRUCTION, Respondent Employer, SCF ARIZONA, Respondent Carrier.

Not for Publication – Rule 111, Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Special Action – Industrial Commission ICA Claim No. 97325202296 Carrier Claim No. XX070301 The Honorable Robert F. Retzer Jr., Administrative Law Judge

Michael L. Charleston, Phoenix Petitioner In Propria Persona

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

State Compensation Fund, Phoenix By James B. Stabler, Chief Counsel, Deborah E. Mittelman Counsel for Respondent Carrier

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

MEMORANDUM DECISION

HOWE, Presiding Judge:

¶1 This is a special action review of an Industrial Commission of Arizona decision by an administrative law judge (ALJ) finding Michael Charleston's medical condition to be stationary without permanent impairment. For the following reasons, we affirm the ALJ's decision.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 On November 10, 1997, Charleston sustained injuries to his head, neck, shoulders, back, and left hip when an 18-foot frame wall fell on him. Charleston filed a workers' compensation claim, which was accepted for benefits.

¶3 When Charleston's claim closed with no permanent impairment on December 29, 1998, he appealed. On October 28, 1999, an ALJ found that Charleston's condition was stationary, without permanent impairment, and that he was no longer entitled to additional workers' compensation benefits. The ALJ considered testimony from several physicians, and concluded that "contradictions in the testimony of the medical care providers . . . cast doubt on [Charleston's] credibility."

¶4 On April 25, 2000, Charleston petitioned to reopen his claim, alleging that he experienced severe and unresolved pain in his neck, face, shoulders, as well as spasms. On December 19, 2000, an ALJ denied Charleston's petition to reopen the claim, finding that Charleston "has not met his burden of proving that he has a new, additional or previously undiscovered condition or disability casually related to his industrial injury of November 10, 1997. On January 17, 2001, Charleston appealed from the denial of his petition to reopen. The December 19, 2000, decision was affirmed on review.

¶5 Charleston again petitioned to reopen his claim on October 3, 2001. He claimed that his "symptoms were getting worse, with increased pain and spasms resulting in numerous visits to the emergency room. . . ." Finding that Charleston had "no new, additional, or previously undiscovered condition causally related to the [November 10, 1997] injury, " an ALJ denied Charleston's request to reopen on January 30, 2003. On February 26, 2003, Charleston appealed the denial of his second petition to reopen. The denial of Charleston's second petition to reopen was affirmed on review.

¶6 On October 30, 2012, Charleston petitioned to reopen his claim a third time, which was denied. In a consolidated decision and order issued on March 1, 2013, the ALJ affirmed the denial of Charleston's third petition, concluding that Charleston "has failed to provide any medical documentation containing sufficient medical facts to establish a prima facie showing of an objective change to this physical condition since his claim was ...


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