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APD 042260
October 29, 2004

APD 042260

October 29, 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 (CCH) was held on August 16, 2004. The hearing officer resolved the disputed issue by deciding that the compensable injury of ______________, does not include an injury to the neck. The appellant (claimant) appealed, arguing that the extent-of-injury determination is so against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence as to be clearly wrong or unjust. The respondent (carrier) responded, urging affirmance.



The parties stipulated that the claimant sustained a compensable injury on ______________. At issue was whether the compensable injury extended to include an injury to the neck. The extent-of-injury issue presented a question of fact for the hearing officer to resolve. The hearing officer, as finder of fact, is the sole judge of the relevance and materiality of the evidence as well as the weight and credibility that is to be given to the evidence. Section 410.165(a). It is for the hearing officer to resolve the inconsistencies and conflicts in the evidence and to decide what facts the evidence has established. Garza v. Commercial Insurance Company of Newark, New Jersey, 508 S.W.2d 701 (Tex. Civ. App.-Amarillo 1974, no writ). The hearing officer reviewed the record and medical evidence and decided what facts were established. An appeals-level body is not a fact finder, and does not normally pass upon the credibility of witnesses or substitute its own judgment for that of the trier of fact, even if the evidence would support a different result. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania v. Soto, 819 S.W.2d 619, 620 (Tex. App.-El Paso 1991, writ denied). When reviewing a hearing officer's decision for factual sufficiency of the evidence we should reverse such decision only if it is so against the weight and preponderance of the evidence as to be clearly wrong or manifestly unjust, and we do not find it to be so in this case. Cain v. Bain, 709 S.W.2d 175, 176 (Tex. 1986).

We affirm the decision and order of the hearing officer.

The true corporate name of the insurance carrier is TEXAS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY and the name and address of its registered agent for service of process is




Margaret L. Turner


Robert W. Potts
Appeals Judge

Edward Vilano
Appeals Judge