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 21, 2004. With respect to the issues before her, the hearing officer determined that the appellant (claimant) did not sustain a compensable injury on ______________, and that the claimant did not have disability. In his appeal, the claimant challenges those determinations as being 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 injury on ______________. 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, the hearing officer determined that the evidence did not establish that the claimant sustained a compensable injury. The hearing officer simply was not persuaded that the claimant sustained his burden of proving that he was injured in a fall at work as he claimed. The hearing officer was acting within her 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 he did not have disability.
The hearing officer’s decision and order are affirmed.
The true corporate name of the insurance carrier is (a self-insured governmental entity) and the name and address of its registered agent for service of process is
(CITY), TEXAS (ZIP CODE).
Elaine M. Chaney
Daniel R. Barry