Hayes v. Rosenbaum Signs & Outdoor Advertising, Inc.Annotate this Case
Appellant injured his lower back in 2007 while working for Employer. Employer denied further treatment that same year. Appellant filed a petition for hearing in 2009, alleging that he was entitled to medical benefits. Based on a deposition of Dr. Dale Anderson, Employer filed an amended answer admitting that Appellant’s work activities were a major contributing cause to his need for medical treatment. The Department of Labor dismissed the case in 2010. In 2011, Employer denied further medical treatment based upon a recent independent medical evaluation by another doctor. Appellant petitioned for a hearing, arguing that res judicata applied to prevent Employer from changing its position from its previous admittance. The Department found res judicata inapplicable and that Appellant failed to meet his burden of proof on causation. The circuit court affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because Dr. Anderson’s opinion was adopted by Employer and judicially accepted by the Department through its 2010 order of dismissal, Employer was judicially estopped from taking an inconsistent position; and (2) Appellant met his burden of proving that his work-related activities as of 2010 were a major contributing cause of his disability. Remanded.