This appeal arises pursuant to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, TEX. LAB. CODE ANN. § 401.001 et seq. (1989 Act). On December 14, 2000, a hearing was held. The hearing officer resolved the disputed issues by deciding that the respondent (claimant) sustained a compensable injury to his neck and low back in addition to the injury to his head on __________, and that the claimant had disability from January 5, 2000, through the date of the hearing. The appellant (carrier) appealed and the claimant responded.
The hearing officer’s decision is affirmed.
The claimant testified that on __________, he was working for the employer preparing a truck to transport vehicles when he slipped off the truck ladder and fell four feet landing on his buttocks on concrete and falling back and hitting his head on a hard rubber fuel line. The carrier apparently accepted a compensable head injury. In dispute was whether the claimant also injured his neck and low back when he fell while working on __________. The claimant had had multiple lumbar surgeries prior to __________, the last in 1997, and was being treated for back pain in 1998 and 1999. Although there is conflicting evidence regarding the extent-of-injury issue, the claimant’s testimony and the reports of the claimant’s treating doctor and the referral doctors support the hearing officer’s finding in favor of the claimant on that issue. In addition, the claimant’s testimony and the reports of his treating doctor and referral doctors support the hearing officer’s finding in favor of the claimant on the disability issue. The hearing officer is the sole judge of the weight and credibility of the evidence. Section 410.165(a). The hearing officer’s decision is supported by sufficient evidence and is not so against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence as to be clearly wrong and unjust.
The hearing officer’s decision and order are affirmed.
Robert W. Potts
Gary L. Kilgore
Philip F. O’Neill