Blissenbach v. General Motors Assembly Div.

Decision Date15 February 1983
Docket NumberNo. 45726,45726
Citation650 S.W.2d 8
PartiesHerman BLISSENBACH, Appellant, v. GENERAL MOTORS ASSEMBLY DIVISION, Respondent.
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

Jack Randall, St. Louis, for appellant.

John L. Harlan, Jr., St. Louis, for respondent.

REINHARD, Judge.

Employee appeals from an order of the circuit court sustaining the decision of the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission denying his motion to change its award due to a change of employee's condition.

On April 22, 1975, the employee was awarded compensation based on a disability rating of 40% of the body as a whole referable to the low back for a work related injury which occurred on September 24, 1973. On February 17, 1976, employee filed a motion to change the award due to a change of condition. In the motion, employee alleged, "that since the date of the Award the condition of the Employee worsened to the extent that he is now in need of substantial medical treatment and is presently permanently and totally disabled." The Labor and Industrial Relations Commission remanded the case to the Division of Workmen's Compensation for a hearing on the alleged change of condition. After hearing on February 14 and 26, 1979, the Commission denied employee's motion for change of award.

The evidence revealed that between the time of the original hearing and date of rehearing, employee had had two hydrocele operations, had broken his ankle, and had suffered a heart attack. However, employee's claim for relief was based upon his alleged deteriorating back condition. He had had a lumbar laminectomy for removal of a disc in 1973 and further back surgery in 1976. In March, 1977, he had suffered a heart attack. After the attack, he had gone back to work on a light duty job in June, 1978, and had worked until December 14, 1978. He said employer was "very nice. They let me pick my own job out and I thought that was the best I would find." According to employee, he was unable to continue the light work.

Employee relies on the medical reports of Drs. Snyders, Hogan, and Tulyasathien. He also relies on the testimony of employer's witness, Dr. Conrad. Dr. Snyders was employee's family physician. In a report dated January 15, 1979, he stated he had found a protruding disc and stated the employee was totally and permanently disabled. Dr. Hogan was a neurologist, and Dr. Tulyasathien was an orthopedist. The employer had referred the employee to these physicians. 1 Dr. Hogan's report, dated January 30, 1979, stated, "I do not feel that the patient is able to perform, obviously any heavy work and there is a serious question of whether he is able to do even sedentary work." Dr. Tulyasathien's report stated he had found spasm of the paravertebral muscle, marked limitation of flexion, extension, lateral flexion and rotation of the lumbosacral spine. His report stated his diagnosis: "My impression was: Post Laminectomy syndrome. I do not believe that patient will be able to do any physical work and most likely the condition will be permanent."

Employer presented Dr. Marshall B. Conrad, an orthopedic surgeon. He examined employee on January 4, 1977. Dr. Conrad testified that employee "moved about the office slowly and with obvious difficulty but he was able to walk without support. However, he walked with a right-sided limp." He said employee "had palpable muscle spasm of the lumbar region," and motion of the back was "limited to a considerable extent." He stated that x-rays revealed a significant or rather marked degree of osteopenia. He stated osteopenia was not a direct result of trauma: it can result from inactivity. Dr. Conrad estimated residual disability amounting to approximately 50% of the man. He also examined employee on January 30, 1979, and found no significant change in his condition. The employee still had muscle spasm and his motion in the lumbar spine was "perhaps somewhat more limited than previously." He did not find anything "to make me change my estimate of fifty per cent resulting from the back injury and the subsequent surgery." This 50% rating did not include any disability resulting from employee's...

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28 cases
  • Hampton v. Big Boy Steel Erection
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • December 9, 2003
    ...(Mo.App. 1983); Blatter v. Missouri Dept. of Social Services Div. of Aging, 655 S.W.2d 819 (Mo.App.1983); Blissenbach v. General Motors Assembly Div., 650 S.W.2d 8 (Mo. App.1983); Banner Iron Works v. Mordis, 663 S.W.2d 770 (Mo.App.1983); Chilton v. General Motors Parts Div., 643 S.W.2d 304......
  • Page v. Green
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • January 31, 1985
    ...and uphold the decision of the Commission if it is supported by competent and substantial evidence. Blissenbach v. General Motors Assembly Div., 650 S.W.2d 8, 11 (Mo.App.1983). Only when the Commission's award is not supported by substantial evidence or is clearly contrary to the overwhelmi......
  • Haynes v. Emerson Elec. Co.
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • November 8, 1990
    ...no contradictory or impeaching evidence is introduced. Page v. Green, 686 S.W.2d 528, 530 (Mo.App.1985); Blissenbach v. General Motors Assembly Div., 650 S.W.2d 8, 11 (Mo.App.1983). Emerson was not required to present substantial evidence that Mr. Haynes' heart attack was not Irrespective o......
  • Tibbs v. Rowe Furniture Corp.
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • April 17, 1985
    ...and uphold the decision of the Commission if it is supported by competent and substantial evidence. Blissenbach v. General Motors Assembly Div., 650 S.W.2d 8, 11 (Mo.App.1983). It is only when the Commission's award is not supported by substantial evidence or is clearly contrary to the over......
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