Gomez v. Dura Mark, Inc.Annotate this Case
On June 28, 2010, Appellant Maria Gomez filed a Worker’s Compensation Complaint with the Industrial Commission (Commission) claiming benefits for an accident that occurred in 2009, when she injured her lower back lifting sixty-pound boxes. The injury occurred at Blackfoot Brass (Dura Mark). Appellant had previously suffered two work-related accidents while working with Dura Mark, one in 2002, the other in 2006, but had returned to work without restrictions after participating in physical therapy for both injuries. The issue before the Supreme Court centered on a Commission order denying reconsideration of Appellant's motion to reopen the record to allow for additional evidence on the issue of causation. The Industrial Commission previously ordered that Appellant had failed to prove the medical treatment she received for a back injury was related to an industrial accident and injury. At the emergency hearing pursuant to the Judicial Rules of Practice and Procedure adopted by the Commission, Appellant introduced evidence regarding her entitlement to reasonable and necessary medical care pursuant to I.C. 72-432, but the referee denied Appellant's claim on the grounds of causation. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed the Commission's judgment. In doing so, the Court wanted to provide a "clear message that without a specific stipulation that causation will be a contested issue at the hearing pursuant to I.C. 72-713, and especially if there is a difference of opinion as to causation by opposing parties and their experts, claimant’s attorneys should no longer be lulled by anything other than a stipulation to all legal prerequisites and elements for recovery and be prepared to present evidence of a causal connection between the industrial injury or sickness and the required treatment."