Savio House v. Dennis, 82CA0746

Decision Date20 January 1983
Docket NumberNo. 82CA0746,82CA0746
Citation665 P.2d 141
PartiesSAVIO HOUSE and Continental Casualty Company, Petitioners, v. Viola M. DENNIS and The Industrial Commission of the State of Colorado, Respondents. . II
CourtColorado Court of Appeals

Knapp & Lee, Robert A. Weinberger, Denver, for petitioners.

Glasman, Jaynes & Carpenter, Ronald C. Jaynes, Denver, for respondent Viola M. Dennis.

J.D. MacFarlane, Atty. Gen., Alice L. Parker, Asst. Atty. Gen., Denver, for respondent Industrial Com'n.

PIERCE, Judge.

In this workmen's compensation case, Savio House and Continental Casualty Company (petitioners) seek review of a final order of the Industrial Commission awarding claimant permanent total disability benefits. We affirm.

Claimant sustained compression fractures of her vertebrae on August 13, 1976, while working as a housekeeper at a boys' home. Her orthopedic specialist gave her a permanent partial disability rating of 5 percent as a working unit, and in May 1978, petitioners admitted liability for 5 percent as a working unit.

On February 15, 1979, claimant filed a petition to reopen her claim contending that her condition had worsened. The petition was accompanied by a letter from her orthopedist stating that claimant was suffering from moderately severe to severe osteoporosis, a degenerative bone condition. The doctor opined that claimant was totally disabled from performing any work involving standing, stooping, or lifting over five pounds.

At a hearing on her petition, claimant testified that she had held various jobs since 1928, and had worked for the boys' home for 10 years prior to her injury. She stated that she had not had any problem with her back until the accident. Claimant also testified that her condition had gotten worse after May 1978. Specifically, she became less able to bend over, reach, or lift and was in constant pain. Claimant testified that she had been disabled from working at the home after November 1976.

Claimant's doctor testified that the percentage of claimant's disability attributable to the compression fractures had not increased since his initial rating of 5 percent. He stated that the subsequent disability was attributable to claimant's extensive osteoporosis which had substantially increased her chances of incurring additional compression fractures during bending, stooping, and lifting activities.

The referee found that the claimant's condition had worsened since the date of petitioners' admission of liability and was continuing to worsen. He also found that claimant had worked steadily without significant or disabling back symptoms prior to the accident in August 1976. The referee concluded that claimant was totally disabled as a result of her "industrial injury in conjunction with her general physical condition of extensive osteoporosis and upon consideration of her advanced age of 70, her education which is limited to high school and her past work experience...." The referee found that claimant's total disability was fairly attributable to the industrial accident. The Commission affirmed and adopted the findings of the referee.

Petitioners argue that the only medical evidence established that claimant's deteriorated condition was the result of her osteoporosis, not the industrial accident. Thus, petitioners contend that the Commission erred in reopening the claim and in awarding additional benefits because claimant had failed to establish, "by credible medical testimony," that her condition was caused by her industrial injury. We disagree.

In order to recover workmen's compensation benefits a claimant must demonstrate that the...

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20 cases
  • Lucero v. Climax Molybdenum Co.
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • February 9, 1987
    ...Kokel v. Indus. Comm'n, 111 Colo. 188, 139 P.2d 259 (1943); Wierman v. Tunnell, 108 Colo. 544, 120 P.2d 638 (1941); Savio House v. Dennis, 665 P.2d 141 (Colo.App.1983). In construing statutes, the legislature has said: "Words and phrases that have acquired a technical or particular meaning,......
  • Baca v. Helm
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • May 29, 1984 is whether, as a matter of law, causation is an ultimate or evidentiary fact. The claimant asserts, relying on Savio House v. Dennis, 665 P.2d 141 (Colo.App.1983), that causation in the context of a worker's compensation claim is an evidentiary fact which is binding on review. The commis......
  • In the Matter of Claim of Montoya v. Kaiser-Hill Company, LLC, W.C. No. 4-633-835 (CO 4/26/2006), W.C. No. 4-633-835
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • April 26, 2006 prove the cause of his symptoms. See Morrison v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, 760 P.2d 654 (Colo. App. 1988); Savio House v. Dennis, 665 P.2d 141 (Colo. App. 1983). Rather, the claimant's testimony, if credited, may alone constitute substantial evidence to support the ALJ's determina......
  • In the Matter of Claim of Velasquez v. UPS, W. C. No. 4-573-459 (CO 4/13/2006)
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • April 13, 2006
    ...may be sufficient to support an ALJ's finding on the nature and extent of the claimant's functional impairment. Savio House v. Dennis, 665 P.2d 141 (Colo. App. 1983). In resolving this question, the ALJ must determine the situs of the claimant's "functional impairment," and the site of the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • A Review of Medical Issues in Worker's Compensation
    • United States
    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Lawyer No. 19-4, April 1990
    • Invalid date
    ...424 (Colo.App. 1974). 23. City and County of Denver v. Industrial Commission, 682 P.2d 513 (Colo.App. 1984). 24. Savio House v. Dennis, 665 P.2d 141 (Colo.App. 1983); Casa Bonita Restaurant v. Industrial Commission, 624 P.2d 1340 (Colo. App. 1981). 25. W. C. Rule XIV. 26. Blankenship v. Iow......

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