Straub v. Labor Comm'n

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Straub v. Labor Commission. Filed June 17, 1999 IN THE UTAH COURT OF APPEALS

Tenne Straub fka Tenne Vanderwood,


Labor Commission; McKay-Dee Hospital; and Intermountain Health Care, Inc., self insured,

(Not For Official Publication)

Case No. 981601-CA

June 17, 1999)
  1999 UT App 192 -----

Original Proceeding in this Court

Thomas R. Blonquist, Salt Lake City, for Petitioner
Larry R. White, Salt Lake City, for Respondents McKay-Dee Hospital and Intermountain Health Care
Alan Hennebold, Salt Lake City, for Respondent Labor Commission


Before Judges Bench, Billings, and Jackson.

BENCH, Judge:

Petitioner argues that the factual findings made by the Appeals Board of the Utah Labor Commission (Commission) are not supported by substantial evidence. Under section 63-46b-16(4)(g) of the Utah Code, an appellate court will not disturb the Commission's findings unless those findings are "not supported by substantial evidence when viewed in light of the whole record before the court." Utah Code Ann. § 63-46b-16(4)(g) (1997).

Specifically, petitioner contends that the ALJ's findings are contrary to those provided by the medical panel and that the ALJ is bound by the medical panel's findings. Section 34A-2-601(2)(e) of the Utah Code provides: "The administrative law judge may base the administrative law judge's finding and decision on the report of the panel, medical director, or medical consultants, but is not bound by the report if other substantial conflicting evidence in the case supports a contrary finding." Utah Code Ann. § 34A-2-601(2)(e) (1997) (emphasis added). Furthermore, the purpose of the medical panel is "'limited to medical examination and diagnosis, the evidence of which is to be considered by the Commission in arriving at its decision.'" Intermountain Health Care v. Board of Review of Indus. Comm'n, 839 P.2d 841, 845 n.5 (Utah Ct. App. 1992) (quoting Jensen v. United States Fuel Co., 18 Utah 2d 414, 416, 424 P.2d 440, 442 (1967)) (emphasis added).

Our review of the record reveals substantial evidence supporting the Commission's findings. The affidavit submitted by petitioner's treating psychologist, Dr. DeVries, and the evaluation by the independent medical examiner, Dr. McCann, both provide substantial evidence in support of the Commission's findings. Even portions of the report by Dr. Burgoyne, a member of the medical panel, support the findings. In addition, petitioner's own deposition and work history provide further support for the Commission's conclusion "that even if [petitioner] did suffer an injury, the injury has not resulted in any impairment or disability from work."

Because the record contains substantial evidence to support the findings, the Commission's order denying petitioner's motion for review is affirmed.

Russell W. Bench, Judge



Judith M. Billings, Judge

Norman H. Jackson, Judge