KENNIE P. MIXON, Petitioner,
THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF ARIZONA, Respondent, GOODWILL INDUSTRIES CENTRAL ARIZONA, Respondent Employer, LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE CORPORATION, Respondent Carrier.
Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court
Special Action - Industrial Commission No. ICA 20101-450236, The Honorable Joseph L. Moore, Administrative Law Judge.
Kennie P. Mixon, Phoenix Petitioner
Industrial Commission of Arizona, Phoenix By Andrew F. Wade Counsel for Respondent
Cross & Lieberman, PA, Phoenix By Donald L. Cross Counsel for Respondent Employer and Respondent Carrier
Judge Patricia A. Orozco delivered the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Margaret H. Downie and Judge Maurice Portley joined.
¶1 This is a special action review of an Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) award. For the following reasons, we affirm the ruling of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) that Kennie P. Mixon's claim was non-compensable.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
¶2 Mixon worked for Goodwill Industries Central Arizona (Goodwill), assisting one of Goodwill's stores with processing donated items. While pulling a floor jack, Mixon was struck by commercial laundry bins that were stacked and being moved on a forklift. Mixon asserted that the bins hit his "whole left side" including his face and eye. Mixon complained of neck, back, rib, and eye injuries after the incident. Mixon testified that all the injuries except for his eye "resolve[d]. . . for the most part." Mixon admitted that several procedures had been performed on the injured eye before the workplace incident. Mixon also stated that he received Social Security disability because he is "legally blind" and that he "had visual problems all [his] life."
¶3 Karen Resendiz, the store manager at Goodwill, testified that Mixon was struck on his "side, " but not his head. Resendiz stated that Mixon was not knocked to the ground and that the forklift was going "less than five" miles per hour when it struck Mixon. Resendiz stated that she took Mixon to the company nurse and that Mixon complained only of a "tingling" in his arm. The company nurse's report noted "Bruises, Contusions, Other Blunt Injuries" on Mixon's lower left arm.
¶4 Mixon testified that he saw his ophthalmologist, Kathleen Carriker, MD, within a few weeks of the accident and received treatment for pressure in his eye. However, medical records from Dr. Carriker did not contain any record for a visit at the time that Mixon testified he sought treatment. Dr. Carriker's records showed that Mixon's first visit after the accident occurred seven months after the accident.
¶5 Dr. Carriker testified that Mixon told her about his workplace accident when he saw her seven months later, and she diagnosed him at that time with traumatic glaucoma with a "contusion/concussion of the eyeball." Dr. Carriker stated that the injured eye was suffering from a higher pressure level than the other eye, and she prescribed medicine to lower the pressure. Dr. Carriker testified that she did not believe the previous procedures completed on Mixon's eye contributed to his condition. Dr. Carriker also testified that her "take" on Mixon's condition was that it was caused by the workplace accident. Dr. Carriker reached this conclusion because elevated eye pressure was not a symptom Mixon experienced as a result of any of the treatments he previously received.
¶6 Brian Rose, MD, another ophthalmology specialist, also examined Mixon and reviewed his medical records. Dr. Rose stated that he believed the problems in Mixon's eye stemmed from longstanding conditions related to his "abnormally long myopic eye." Dr. Rose testified that he saw "no definite indication" of glaucoma and ...