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Linden v. Industrial Commission of Arizona

Court of Appeals of Arizona, Second Division

December 17, 2013

Eric E. Linden, Petitioner Employee,
v.
The Industrial Commission of Arizona, Respondent, All Pro Roofer & Home Improvements, Respondent/Employer, SCF of Arizona, Respondent Insurer.

Not For Publication See Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. 111(c); Ariz. R. Civ. App. P. 28(c).

SPECIAL ACTION – INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION ICA Claim No. 20113200125 Insurer No. 1106267 The Honorable Jacqueline Wohl, Administrative Law Judge

Eric E. Linden, Tucson Pro Se The Industrial Commission of Arizona, Phoenix By Andrew F. Wade Counsel for Respondent

SCF Arizona, Phoenix By James B. Stabler, Chief Counsel and Joseph N. Lodge, Assistant Counsel, Tucson Counsel for Respondent/Insurer

Judge Miller authored the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Vásquez and Chief Judge Howard concurred.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

MILLER, Judge

¶1 In this statutory special action, petitioner Eric Linden challenges the decision of the administrative law judge (ALJ) denying him compensation for a knee injury and recalculating his temporary compensation. He also contends the ALJ erred in denying him a continuance of his hearing. We affirm the award.

Factual and Procedural Background

¶2 On review, we consider the evidence in the light most favorable to upholding the ALJ's findings and award. Polanco v. Indus. Comm'n, 214 Ariz. 489, 2, 154 P.3d 391, 392-93 (App. 2007). In October 2011, Linden was working at All Pro Roofer and Home Improvement (All Pro) when he fell off a ladder. Linden filed a claim for benefits with SCF Arizona, All Pro's insurance carrier, reporting that he had injured his left wrist, elbow, and shoulder. SCF accepted the claim and provided Linden with compensation benefits for temporary total disability. [1] On February 21, 2012, Linden's physical therapist sought authorization for therapy on Linden's left knee, but SCF denied authorization because the knee injury was not part of the claim.

¶3 Linden requested a hearing before the ALJ, claiming that SCF failed to pay the compensation benefits he was owed and incorrectly refused to authorize medical treatment, testing, and physical therapy for his knee. The ALJ held formal hearings in July and November 2012. In a decision issued in April 2013, she denied medical benefits related to Linden's left knee and concluded Linden's compensation benefits had been correctly calculated. Linden requested administrative review in May, and the ALJ affirmed the award on June 4, 2013. Linden filed a petition for special action. We have jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-120.21(A)(2).

Temporary Compensation Payments

¶4 Linden first contends SCF has been underpaying his temporary compensation. He does not dispute the calculation of his benefits; rather, he disputes the timing and amount of each payment.

¶5 An ALJ's computation of workers' compensation will not be set aside if it is reasonably supported by the evidence presented. See Bratz v. Indus. Comm'n, 178 Ariz. 359, 360, 873 P.2d 697, 698 (App. 1994) (calculation of average monthly wage); Schneidewind v. Indus. Comm'n, 120 Ariz. 363, 365, 586 P.2d 208, 210 (App. 1978) (calculation of loss of earning capacity). Questions of law related to the computation, however, are reviewed de novo. See Bulk Transp. v. Indus. Comm'n, 232 Ariz. 218, ¶ 7, 303 P.3d 529, 531 (App. 2013).

¶6 SCF granted Linden temporary total disability compensation and calculated his monthly compensation at $2, 638.83.[2] SCF paid Linden $1, 214.64 every fourteen days. Linden does not dispute these figures. In his opening brief, however, Linden contends he was underpaid because he only received two checks per month, totaling $2, 429.38. Linden's error is in the difference between semimonthly and biweekly payments; he will occasionally receive three payments in one month, ...


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