This appeal arises pursuant to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, TEX. LAB. CODE ANN. § 401.001 et seq. (1989 Act). Following a contested case hearing held on March 2, 2001. The hearing officer resolved the disputed issues by determining that the respondent/cross-appellant (claimant) sustained a compensable injury on _________, and that she had disability from that injury from July 24 through September 8, 2000. The appellant/cross-respondent (carrier) contends on appeal that the hearing officer has “confused” the witnesses and the testimony. The claimant’s request for review asserts that the hearing officer’s determination that her disability ended on September 8, 2000, is against the great weight of the evidence. The parties filed responses.
The hearing officer did not err in determining that the claimant sustained a compensable injury on _________, and that the claimant’s disability ended on September 8, 2000. The testimony of the claimant and the witnesses called by the carrier was in substantial conflict concerning whether the claimant fell at work while stepping onto a chair while climbing down from a shelf she stood on while taking inventory and whether she sustained a back injury at that time. The hearing officer, as the sole judge of the weight and credibility of the evidence (Section 410.165(a)), acted within her province in accepting the claimant’s version of the events during the taking of the inventory. The hearing officer also noted that the claimant herself felt she was ready to return to work by September 8, 2000. As with the finding of the occurrence of the claimed compensable injury, the disability finding is not so against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence as to be clearly wrong or manifestly unjust. Cain v. Bain, 709 S.W.2d 175, 176 (Tex. 1986).
The decision and order of the hearing officer are affirmed.
Philip F. O’Neill
Elaine M. Chaney
Gary L. Kilgore