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APD 041914
September 27, 2004

APD 041914

September 27, 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 scheduled for April 22, 2004, but was continued at the appellant’s (carrier) request and held on July 12, 2004. The hearing officer resolved the disputed issue by determining that the respondent’s (claimant) _______________, compensable injury includes the lumbar spine, specifically the L5-S1 disc protrusion. The carrier appeals this determination. The appeal file contains no response from the claimant.



Extent of injury was a factual question for the hearing officer to resolve. Section 410.165(a) provides that the 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 to the evidence. It was for the hearing officer, as trier of fact, to resolve the inconsistencies and conflicts in the evidence. Garza v. Commercial Insurance Company of Newark, New Jersey, 508 S.W.2d 701, 702 (Tex. Civ. App.-Amarillo 1974, no writ). It was the hearing officer's prerogative to believe all, part, or none of the testimony of any witness, including that of the claimant. Aetna Insurance Company v. English, 204 S.W.2d 850 (Tex. Civ. App.-Fort Worth 1947, no writ). While it appears that the designated doctor in this case did not assign a rating for the claimant’s lumbar spine, we would point out that a designated doctor does not have presumptive weight regarding extent of injury. See Texas Workers' Compensation Commission Appeal No. 992711, decided January 20, 2000. Nothing in our review of the record indicates that the hearing officer’s decision is so against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence as to be clearly wrong and unjust. Cain v. Bain, 709 S.W.2d 175, 176 (Tex. 1986).

The hearing officer’s decision and order are affirmed.

The true corporate name of the insurance carrier is THE INSURANCE COMPANY OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA and the name and address of its registered agent for service of process is




Chris Cowan
Appeals Judge


Judy L. S. Barnes
Appeals Judge

Daniel R. Barry
Appeals Judge