Am. Med. Facilities Mgmt. v. Parsons, No. 19-1174

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtChief Justice Evan H. Jenkins Justice Elizabeth D. Walker Justice Tim Armstead Justice John A. Hutchison Justice William R. Wooton
Docket NumberNo. 19-1174
PartiesAMERICAN MEDICAL FACILITIES MANAGEMENT, Employer Below, Petitioner v. CAROL PARSONS, Claimant Below, Respondent
Decision Date23 April 2021

Employer Below, Petitioner
CAROL PARSONS, Claimant Below, Respondent

No. 19-1174


April 23, 2021

(BOR Appeal No. 2054251)
(Claim No. 2018026344)


Petitioner American Medical Facilities Management, by Counsel James W. Heslep, appeals the decision of the West Virginia Workers' Compensation Board of Review ("Board of Review"). Carol Parsons, by Counsel Thomas D. Hall, filed a timely response.

The issue on appeal is compensability. The claims administrator rejected the claim on June 1, 2018. The Workers' Compensation Office of Judges ("Office of Judges") reversed the decision in its May 2, 2019, Order and held the claim compensable for head injury and abrasions to the left knee and left elbow. The Order was affirmed by the Board of Review on November 22, 2019.

The Court has carefully reviewed the records, written arguments, and appendices contained in the briefs, and the case is mature for consideration. The facts and legal arguments are adequately presented, and the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument. Upon consideration of the standard of review, the briefs, and the record presented, the Court finds no substantial question of law and no prejudicial error. For these reasons, a memorandum decision is appropriate under Rule 21 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure.

The standard of review applicable to this Court's consideration of workers' compensation appeals has been set out under W. Va. Code § 23-5-15, in relevant part, as follows:

(b) In reviewing a decision of the board of review, the supreme court of appeals shall consider the record provided by the board and give deference to the board's findings, reasoning and conclusions[.]

. . . . (d) If the decision of the board effectively represents a reversal of a prior ruling of either the commission or the Office of Judges that was entered on the same issue

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in the same claim, the decision of the board may be reversed or modified by the Supreme Court of Appeals only if the decision is in clear violation of constitutional or statutory provisions, is clearly the result of erroneous conclusions of law, or is so clearly wrong based upon the evidentiary record that even when all inferences are resolved in favor of the board's findings, reasoning and conclusions, there is insufficient support to sustain the decision. The court may not conduct a de novo re-weighing of the evidentiary record. . . .

See Hammons v. West Virginia Off. of Ins. Comm'r, 235 W.Va. 577, 775 S.E.2d 458, 463-64 (2015). As we previously recognized in Justice v. West Virginia Office Insurance Commission, 230 W. Va. 80, 83, 736 S.E.2d 80, 83 (2012), we apply a de novo standard of review to questions of law arising in the context of decisions issued by the Board. See also Davies v. West Virginia Off. of Ins. Comm'r, 227 W. Va. 330, 334, 708 S.E.2d 524, 528 (2011).

Ms. Parsons, a nurse, was injured on May 29, 2018, when she fell while walking to lunch. She sought treatment immediately following the injury and was seen by Joseph Duvert, M.D. Dr. Duvert noted that Ms. Parsons presented to the emergency room after falling in the...

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