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Sanchez-Capote v. Tyson Foods, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

May 28, 2013

Noraida Sanchez-Capote, appellant,
v.
Tyson Foods, Inc., and Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., insurer, appellees.

NOT DESIGNATED FOR PERMANENT PUBLICATION

Appeal from the Workers Compensation Court: Ronald L. Brown, Judge.

Alice S. Horneber, of Horneber Law Firm, P.C., for appellant.

Raymond R. Aranza, of Marks, Clare & Richards, L.L.C., and Kent M. Smith, of Scheldrup Blades, for appellees.

Sievers, Pirtle, and Riedmann, Judges.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND JUDGMENT ON APPEAL

Riedmann, Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Noraida Sanchez-Capote appeals from the award of the Workers' Compensation Court denying her permanent benefits related to an injury sustained in April 2009, finding that she did not suffer a work-related injury in January 2010, and denying vocational rehabilitation benefits. Because we find there was sufficient evidence in the record to support the compensation court's findings, we affirm.

BACKGROUND

Sanchez-Capote began working at Tyson Foods, Inc. (Tyson), in February 2009. The parties stipulated at trial that she sustained bilateral wrist tendonitis arising out of and in the course of her employment at Tyson with an accident date of April 27, 2009. Tyson voluntarily paid temporary total disability benefits from April 28 through July 22.

Sanchez-Capote reported the injury to Tyson on April 28, 2009, and that same day, she saw Dr. Michael Adams for the pain and swelling in her wrist and hand. He diagnosed her with tendonitis. Dr. Adams recommended that Sanchez-Capote be put on light duty at Tyson. He referred her to physical therapy and, later, to work hardening. When she was unable to progress with the work hardening, Dr. Adams referred her to an orthopedist, Dr. Peter Bergquist. Dr. Bergquist noted that Sanchez-Capote's chief complaint was bilateral upper extremity pain but that she seemed confused and had trouble identifying specifically which area was causing her pain. He found that her complaints and her sensitivity to palpation were inconsistent. He recommended that Sanchez-Capote continue work hardening as tolerated, and when she was unable to continue, he recommended that she undergo a functional capacity evaluation (FCE).

Sanchez-Capote underwent the FCE on July 10, 2009, with physical therapist, Randy Presler. Presler noted that she was cooperative during the evaluation and displayed good effort. Presler placed her in the medium physical demand category and concluded, based on her reported symptoms and injury history, that she would be better suited for activities that did not require prolonged or heavy gripping and squeezing tasks. He recommended permanent restrictions but determined that one of the positions Sanchez-Capote had previously been performing at Tyson, called the "round heads" position, fell within her restrictions.

After reviewing the FCE report in August 2009, Dr. Bergquist indicated that he agreed with the results, and he placed Sanchez-Capote at maximum medical improvement (MMI). He also opined that she did not sustain any permanent partial disability from her April injury. When Sanchez-Capote informed Tyson that working the "round heads" position was still causing her pain, Tyson asked Presler and Dr. Bergquist to approve other possible positions for her. Presler and Dr. Bergquist determined that the "kill janitor" position, the "saddle loins" position, and the "save and separate rectums" position all fell within Sanchez-Capote's restrictions.

In January 2010, Sanchez-Capote reported another injury to Tyson, giving an accident date of January 12, 2010. She saw Dr. Rodrigo Gomez on January 21, complaining of pain in her neck, chest, upper back, left elbow, and both wrists and hands. Dr. Gomez placed her on light duty with restrictions, and when her symptoms failed to improve, he referred her to Dr. John Hurley, a rheumatologist. Dr. Hurley diagnosed Sanchez-Capote with fibromyalgia. The records of Drs. Gomez and Hurley indicate that although Sanchez-Capote expressed numerous subjective complaints of pain, they were unable to find anything objectively wrong other ...


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