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At a Glance:
Title:
APD 010350
Date:
April 1, 2001

APD 010350

April 1, 2001

This appeal arises pursuant to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, TEX. LAB. CODE ANN. § 401.001 et seq. (1989 Act). A contested case hearing was held on January 11, 2001. The hearing officer found that the respondent (claimant) sustained injury to his head and neck, but not his back, on ________ in the course and scope of employment, and that he had disability from June 6 through December 26, 2000.

The appellant (carrier) has appealed, arguing facts that underlie the contention that the decision is against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence. The claimant responds that there is no reversible error.

DECISION

We affirm the hearing officer's decision.

The hearing officer did not err in finding that the claimant sustained a compensable injury and had disability therefrom. A claimant's testimony alone may establish that an injury has occurred, and disability has resulted from it. Houston Independent School District v. Harrison, 744 S.W.2d 298, 299 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1987, no writ). Generally, lay testimony establishing a sequence of events which provides a strong, logically traceable connection between the event and the condition is sufficient proof of causation. Morgan v. Compugraphic Corp., 675 S.W.2d 729, 733 (Tex. 1984).

The hearing officer is the sole judge of the relevance, materiality, weight, and credibility of the evidence presented at the hearing. Section 410.165(a). The decision should not be set aside because different inferences and conclusions may be drawn upon review, even when the record contains evidence that would lend itself to different inferences. Garza v. Commercial Insurance Company of Newark, New Jersey, 508 S.W.2d 701 (Tex. Civ. App.-Amarillo 1974, no writ). While there is conflicting evidence in the record, and different inferences are suggested, there are also facts that sufficiently support the hearing officer's conclusions.

The decision of the hearing officer will be set aside only if the evidence supporting the hearing officer's determination is so weak or against the overwhelming weight of the evidence as to be clearly wrong or manifestly unjust. Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company v. Middleman, 661 S.W.2d 182 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1983, writ ref'd n.r.e.). We cannot agree that this was the case here, and affirm the decision and order.

Susan M. Kelley
Appeals Judge

CONCUR:

Thomas A. Knapp
Appeals Judge

Robert W. Potts
Appeals Judge

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