NC: workers comp. insurer denied RN's claim: court affirmed commission's decision for nurse.

PositionLegal Case Briefs for Nurses

CASE FACTS: Lillie Mae Steelman was hired by Select Medical Corporation (Select) as a staff nurse at their Forsyth Medical Center where she worked three twelve-hour shifts per week. While at work on November 22, 2006, the nurse slipped and fell on a waxed cement floor. As her right leg slipped underneath her left leg, she heard a "pop." She was taken to the ER at the hospital where she was found to have severe vertebral point tenderness over the lower lumbar spine and soft-tissue tenderness in the right lower lumbar area, as well as tenderness in her right knee and thigh. An X-ray revealed degenerative disc disease at L4/5 and L5/S1 and grade 1 anterior subluxation at L3 and 4. She was referred to PrimeCare of Highway Oaks (PrimeCare). After her second visit to PrimeCare, she was referred to an orthopedic specialist. Subsequently, she was referred to several other physicians. She ultimately underwent back surgery. The Phoenix Insurance Company (Phoenix), Select's worker's compensation insurer, paid for treatment associated with the right knee and left shoulder. However, Phoenix denied payment for all other treatment related to the nurse's back, including an MRI of the lumbar spine. An examination by an Independent Medical Examiner (1ME) resulted in his determination that the nurse was at "maximum medical improvement with regard to her shoulder and knee injury and concluded that the nurse should be able to return to work and rated her degree of permanent partial disability at 5%. Following submission of...

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