Poinsett County v. James Baney

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ARKANSAS COURT OF APPEALS
NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION

ca05-402

ARKANSAS COURT OF APPEALS

NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION

DIVISION III

POINSETT COUNTY

APPELLANT

V.

JAMES BANEY

APPELLEE

CA05-402

November 16, 2005

APPEAL FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION

[NO. F112435]

AFFIRMED

Larry D. Vaught, Judge

Appellee James Baney sustained a compensable injury to his right knee while working for appellant Poinsett County on October 18, 2003. The injury was accepted as compensable, and benefits were paid until Mr. Baney returned to work, two to three weeks after the incident. However, after that time, Mr. Baney continued with treatment that resulted in a total knee replacement on December 2, 2003. The Administrative Law Judge, and ultimately the full Workers' Compensation Commission, concluded that Mr. Baney proved by a preponderance of the evidence that his ongoing treatment was reasonably necessary and causally related to his October 18 compensable injury. Additionally, the Commission found that Mr. Baney was entitled to additional temporary total disability for the period following his surgery and continuing until such date as his healing period is determined to have ended.

Poinsett County now appeals the decision of the Commission. For reversal, it argues that the Commission's decision is not supported by substantial evidence. We affirm.

When reviewing decisions from the Commission, we view the evidence and all reasonable inferences deducible therefrom in the light most favorable to the Commission's findings and affirm if supported by substantial evidence. Poulan Weed Eater v. Marshall, 79 Ark. App. 129, 84 S.W.3d 878 (2002). Substantial evidence is that which a reasonable person might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Cooper v. Hiland Dairy, 69 Ark. App. 200, 11 S.W.3d 5 (2000). A decision of the Commission should not be reversed unless it is clear that fair-minded persons could not have reached the same conclusions if presented with the same facts. Freeman v. Con-Agra Frozen Foods, 344 Ark. 296, 40 S.W.3d 760 (2001). It is well established that the credibility of witnesses and the weight to be given their testimony are matters exclusively within the province of the Commission. Id.

When the Commission's opinion adequately explains the decision below, an opinion in memorandum form is authorized. In re Memorandum Opinions, 16 Ark. App. 301, 700 S.W.2d 63 (1985). In the case at bar, the opinion of the administrative law judge fully and adequately explains the basis for its decision that the knee replacement was reasonably necessary and causally related to his compensable injury as well as the basis for an award of temporary total disability benefits to Mr. Baney. The law judge's opinion was adopted by the full Commission. We have carefully examined the record as abstracted and hold that there is substantial evidence to support the award of benefits.

For the reasons stated, the decision of the Commission is affirmed.

Affirmed.

Glover and Neal, JJ., agree.