Articles Posted in Government Law

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In 2005, Tara Kobielusz began working for Circle C Resources, which provides living assistance for persons with developmental disabilities. In 2010, Kobielusz began working for Circle C as a “host family provider.” That same year, Kobielusz fell and broke her ankle when entering Circle C’s office to pick up Kobielusz’s clients from their day habilitation program. The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Division found Kobielusz had suffered a compensable injury. Circle C requested a contested case hearing before the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), arguing that Kobielusz was not an employee, but rather, an independent contractor. The OAH upheld the Division’s determination. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Kobielusz did not qualify as an “independent contractor” under the meaning of the Worker’s Compensation Act.View "In re Worker’s Comp. Claim of Kobielusz" on Justia Law

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Appellant first received benefits for work-related injuries he received to his knees in 1992. In 2009, Appellant requested preauthorization to perform total knee replacement on both knees. The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Division denied the request and also denied payment of continued treatment of Appellant’s knees, concluding that the treatment and total knee replacements were not associated with the 1992 work injury. After a contested case hearing, the Medical Commission upheld the Division’s decision. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Medical Commission did not commit prejudicial error during the hearing by admitting into evidence, over Appellant’s objection, three exhibits; and (2) substantial evidence supported the Commission’s decision.View "Johnson v. State ex rel. Wyo. Workers' Safety & Comp. Div." on Justia Law

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Appellant was originally injured in 1975 while working for his employer. Appellant’s injuries resulted in the amputation of his right leg, below the knee. The Wyoming Workers’ Safety and Compensation Division paid a number of benefits over the years. Years later, Appellant began receiving chiropractic treatment, including cold laser therapy, from Utah Spine and Disc Clinic in Murray Utah. Appellant sought reimbursement for travel to and from the clinic. In 2011, the Division denied Appellant’s request for reimbursement because (1) traditional types of chiropractic care, manipulation, and traction could have been obtained at a location in Wyoming closer to Appellant’s home; and (2) cold laser therapy was considered experimental and was therefore not a covered treatment for which the Division would pay travel expenses. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Division did not err in its interpretation of the applicable Wyoming statutes, and the Division’s decision contained adequate findings of fact, which findings were supported by substantial record evidence.View "Birch v. State ex rel. Wyo. Workers' Safety & Comp. Div." on Justia Law

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In 1999, Appellant experienced a workplace injury to her back, for which she received benefits awarded by the Wyoming Workers’ Safety and Compensation Division (“Division”). In 2008, while employed in Nebraska, Appellant suffered a second workplace injury. Appellant filed a worker’s compensation claim in Nebraska relating to her 2008 injury and subsequently settled that claim. In 2010, Appellant sought payment for prescription medication for headaches she was experiencing, claiming that the treatment was related to her 1999 injury. The Division denied benefits, concluding that the treatment and medications were unrelated to the original compensable 1999 injury. After a contested case hearing, the Office of Administrative Hearings upheld the Division’s denial of benefits. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that substantial evidence supported the hearing examiner’s finding that there was no causal connection between Appellant’s headaches and her 1999 workplace injury. View "Landwehr v. State ex rel. Workers’ Safety & Comp. Div. " on Justia Law

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The Wyoming Department of Transportation notified Appellant that his commercial driver’s license would be disqualified for one year on the basis that Appellant had driven a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or greater. Appellant requested a contested case hearing. A hearing examiner upheld the Department’s decision. The district court affirmed the license disqualification. On appeal, Appellant contended that the hearing examiner’s findings of fact were unsupported by substantial evidence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) substantial evidence supported the hearing examiner’s decision; and (2) any errors regarding the hearing examiner’s findings of fact were harmless.View "McCallie v. State ex rel. Dep’t of Transp." on Justia Law

Posted in: Government Law