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WEBSTER v. E.V. WILLIAMS COMPANY, INC.


WEBSTER v. E.V. WILLIAMS
COMPANY, INC.

(unpublished)


JULY 1, 1997
Record No. 0452-97-1

WILLIAM E. WEBSTER

v.

E.V. WILLIAMS COMPANY, INC. AND
LIBERTY INSURANCE CORPORATION

MEMORANDUM OPINION[1]
PER CURIAM
FROM THE VIRGINIA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

Present: Judges Bray, Annunziata and Overton

(William E. Webster, pro se, on brief).

No brief for appellees.


William E. Webster (claimant) contends that the Workers’
Compensation Commission (commission) erred in suspending his
compensation benefits on the ground that he unjustifiably refused
selective employment offered to him by E.V. Williams Company,
Inc. (employer). Upon reviewing the record and opening brief, we
conclude that this appeal is without merit. Accordingly, we
summarily affirm the commission’s decision. Rule 5A:27.

On appeal, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to
the prevailing party below. See R.G. Moore Bldg. Corp.
v. Mullins
, 10 Va. App. 211, 212, 390 S.E.2d 788, 788 (1990).
Findings of fact made by the commission will be upheld on appeal
if supported by credible evidence. See James v. Capitol
Steel Constr. Co.
, 8 Va. App. 512, 515, 382 S.E.2d 487, 488
(1989).

The following facts were not in dispute. On March 25, 1996,
Dr. Richard K. Neal, claimant’s treating physician, released
claimant to light-duty work with specific restrictions. By letter
dated March 27, 1996, employer offered claimant a light-duty job
within those restrictions and directed him to report to work on
April 3, 1996. On April 3, 1996, claimant telephoned employer and
stated that he was in pain and unable to report for work that
day. Claimant did not contact employer thereafter.

In granting employer’s application, the commission made the
following findings:

The claimant contends that his former attorney obtained
agreement from the employer that he would be excused from
reporting for work on April 3, 1996, because of his complaints.
However, prior counsel was not called as a witness. In addition,
the claimant was not privy to the conversation between counsel
and the employer. There is no evidence that such an agreement
existed, other than his testimony, which we find not persuasive.
Apparently, there was some discussion of the claimant obtaining
an independent evaluation and the submission of a medical report
based on that evaluation. The record contains medical reports
from Dr. Peter M. Klara, spine surgeon, dated April 12, 1996, and
Dr. M.R. Ross Bullock, neurosurgeon, dated May 1, 1996. However,
those reports are inconclusive and do not rebut Dr. Neal’s
findings, nor his specific approval on April 17, 1996, of the job
which was previously offered the claimant.

Dr. Neal’s medical records and opinions provide credible
evidence to support the commission’s decision. As fact finder,
the commission was entitled to give little probative weight to
the inconclusive reports of Drs. Klara and Bullock. Claimant
contended that he could not perform the job offered to him by
employer. However, claimant never attempted to perform the job
nor did he provide credible medical evidence to support his
subjective belief that he could not perform the duties of the
light-duty job offered to him by employer.

Based upon this record, we cannot find that the commission
erred in granting employer’s application and suspending
claimant’s benefits. Accordingly, we affirm the commission’s
decision.

Affirmed.

 

 

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Pursuant to Code ? 17-116.010 this opinion is
not designated for publication.

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