Richard A. Lobbs v. Gattis Excavating, Inc., et al.

Annotate this Case

ARKANSAS COURT OF APPEALS
NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION

ca05-436

DIVISION IV

RICHARD A. LOBBS

APPELLANT

V.

GATTIS EXCAVATING, INC., ET AL.

APPELLEES

CA05-436

November 16, 2005

APPEAL FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION [NO. F308763]

AFFIRMED

John Mauzy Pittman, Chief Judge

The appellant in this workers' compensation case filed a claim for benefits asserting that he sustained a compensable knee injury while employed by appellee Gattis Excavating. After a hearing, the administrative law judge found that appellant failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he sustained a compensable specific incident injury arising out of and in the course of his employment. The Commission affirmed and adopted the administrative law judge's opinion, and this appeal followed.

Appellant argues that the Commission erred in finding that he failed to prove that he sustained a compensable injury. In reviewing decisions from the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission, the appellate court views the evidence and all reasonable inferences deducible therefrom in the light most favorable to the Commission's findings, and we affirm if the findings are supported by substantial evidence. Daniels v. Arkansas Department of Human Services, 77 Ark. App. 99, 72 S.W.3d 128 (2002). Where, as here, a claim is denied because a claimant fails to show entitlement to compensation by a

preponderance of the evidence, the substantial evidence standard of review requires that we affirm if the Commission's opinion displays a substantial basis for the denial of relief. Williams v. Arkansas Oak Flooring Co., 267 Ark. 810, 590 S.W.2d 328 (Ark. App. 1979).

In the present case, the Commission's denial of relief was based on the credibility of the witnesses. Appellant testified that he was injured at work; that he immediately reported the injury to his supervisor; and that, although he was able to continue working for the remainder of the week, he limped as he did so. Appellant's supervisor testified that appellant never reported any such injury to him and that he did not limp during the remainder of that week. In her opinion, adopted by the Commission, the administrative law judge noted that the medical evidence did not correspond to appellant's testimony regarding the time of the injury, and expressly found that the testimony of the supervisor was more credible than that of the claimant.

Questions concerning the credibility of witnesses and the weight to be given to their testimony are within the exclusive province of the Commission. Patterson v. Insurance Department, 343 Ark. 255, 33 S.W.3d 151 (2000). The Commission is not required to believe the testimony of the claimant or any other witness, but may accept and translate into findings of fact only those portions of the testimony that it deems worthy of belief. Id. Given the Commission's finding of credibility, it cannot be said that it arbitrarily disregarded appellant's testimony.

Affirmed.

Hart and Gladwin, JJ., agree.