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 February 13, 2001. With respect to the single issue before him, the hearing officer determined that the appellant's (claimant) __________, compensable injury, bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and bilateral cubital tunnel syndrome, did not extend to the upper portion of her bilateral upper extremities, her shoulders, and her cervical spine. In her appeal, the claimant contends that the hearing officer’s extent-of-injury determination is against the great weight of the evidence. The respondent (carrier) urges affirmance.
At issue in this case is whether the hearing officer erred in determining that the compensable injury sustained by the claimant did not extend to the upper portion of her bilateral upper extremities, her shoulders, and her cervical spine. Extent of injury is a question of fact. Texas Workers' Compensation Commission Appeal No. 93613, decided August 24, 1993. Section 410.165(a) provides that the contested case hearing officer, as finder of fact, is the sole judge of the relevance and materiality of the evidence as well as of the weight and credibility that is to be given the evidence. It was for the hearing officer, as trier of fact, to resolve the conflicts and inconsistencies in the evidence and to determine what facts had been established. Garza v. Commercial Insurance Company of Newark, New Jersey, 508 S.W.2d 701, 702 (Tex. Civ. App.-Amarillo 1974, no writ). When reviewing a hearing officer's decision for factual sufficiency of the evidence we should reverse such decision only if it is so contrary to the overwhelming weight of the evidence as to be clearly wrong and unjust. Cain v. Bain, 709 S.W.2d 175, 176 (Tex. 1986). Our review of the record does not reveal that the hearing officer’s extent-of-injury determination is so against the great weight of the evidence as to be clearly wrong or manifestly unjust. Accordingly, no sound basis exists for us disturb that determination on appeal.
The hearing officer’s decision and order are affirmed.
Elaine M. Chaney
Gary L. Kilgore
Thomas A. Knapp