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APD 041608
August 19, 2004

APD 041608

August 19, 2004

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 June 14, 2004. With respect to the issues before him, the hearing officer determined that the appellant (claimant) did not sustain a compensable repetitive trauma injury with a date of ______________, and that she did not have disability because she did not sustain a compensable injury. In her appeal, the claimant argues that those determinations are against the great weight of the evidence. In its response to the claimant’s appeal, the respondent (self-insured) urges affirmance.



The hearing officer did not err in determining that the claimant did not sustain a compensable repetitive trauma injury. The claimant had the burden of proof on that issue. Johnson v. Employers Reinsurance Corp., 351 S.W.2d 936 (Tex. Civ. App.-Texarkana 1961, no writ). The injury issue presented a question of fact for the hearing officer to resolve. The hearing officer is the sole judge of the relevance and materiality of the evidence and of its weight and credibility. Section 410.165(a). The hearing officer resolves the conflicts and inconsistencies in the evidence and decides what facts the evidence has established. Texas Employers Ins. Ass'n. v. Campos, 666 S.W.2d 286 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1984, no writ). When reviewing a hearing officer's decision we will reverse such decision only if it is so contrary to the overwhelming weight of the evidence as to be clearly wrong or manifestly unjust. Pool v. Ford Motor Co., 715 S.W.2d 629 (Tex. 1986); Cain v. Bain, 709 S.W.2d 175 (Tex. 1986).

In this instance, there was conflicting evidence on the issue of the nature and duration of the activities performed by the claimant in her job. The hearing officer determined that the evidence did not establish that the claimant sustained a compensable injury. He simply was not persuaded that the claimant sustained her burden of proving that she developed carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of performing repetitive, physically traumatic activities at work. The hearing officer was acting within his province as the fact finder in so finding. Nothing in our review of the record demonstrates that the challenged determination is so against the great weight of the evidence as to be clearly wrong or manifestly unjust; therefore, no sound basis exists for us to reverse the injury determination on appeal. Pool, supra; Cain, supra.

The existence of a compensable injury is a prerequisite to finding disability. Section 401.011(16). Given our affirmance of the determination that the claimant did not sustain a compensable injury, we likewise affirm the determination that she did not have disability.

The hearing officer’s decision and order are affirmed.

The true corporate name of the insurance carrier is (a certified self-insured) and the name and address of its registered agent for service of process is




Elaine M. Chaney
Appeals Judge


Daniel R. Barry
Appeals Judge

Thomas A. Knapp
Appeals Judge