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Hadfield v. Nebraska Medical Center and Safety National Casualty Corporation

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

July 9, 2013

Patricia Hadfield, Appellant,
v.
Nebraska Medical Center and Safety National Casualty Corporation, Appellees.

Page 311

Appeal from the Workers' Compensation Court: JAMES R. COE, Judge. Reversed and remanded with directions.

Laura L. Pattermann and Sheldon M. Gallner, of Gallner & Pattermann, P.C., for appellant.

William J. Birkel and Noah M. Priluck, of McGrath, North, Mullin & Kratz, P.C., L.L.O., for appellees.

Inbody, Chief Judge, and Irwin and Moore, Judges.

Syllabus by the Court

1. Workers' Compensation: Appeal and Error. An appellate court may modify, reverse, or set aside a Workers' Compensation Court decision only when (1) the compensation court acted without or in excess of its powers; (2) the judgment, order, or award was procured by fraud; (3) there is not sufficient competent evidence in the record to warrant the making of the order, judgment, or award; or (4) the findings of fact by the compensation court do not support the order or award.

2. Workers' Compensation: Appeal and Error. On appellate review, the findings of fact made by the trial judge of the Workers' Compensation Court have the effect of a jury verdict and will not be disturbed unless clearly wrong.

3. Workers' Compensation: Appeal and Error. With respect to questions of law in workers' compensation cases, an appellate court is obligated to make its own determination.

4. Workers' Compensation. A worker may recover under Nebraska's workers' compensation laws only for injuries caused by an accident or occupational disease.

5. Workers' Compensation: Words and Phrases. The definition of " accident," as used in Neb.Rev.Stat. ยง 48-101 (Reissue 2010), includes injuries resulting from activities which create a series of repeated traumas ultimately producing disability.

6. Workers' Compensation. A workers' compensation claimant does not have to make specific election between cumulative trauma and specific injury.

7. Final Orders. Silence in an order on a request for relief not spoken to must be construed as a denial of such request.

8. Workers' Compensation: Appeal and Error. A trial judge's failure to discuss a specific request for relief may nonetheless constitute error requiring reversal or remand of the cause when the order does not comply with Workers' Comp. Ct. R. of Proc. 11 (2011) by providing a basis for a meaningful appellate review.

9. Workers' Compensation: Appeal and Error. Workers' Comp. Ct. R. of Proc. 11 (2011) is designed to ensure that compensation court orders are sufficiently clear in addressing requests for relief in order that an appellate court can review the evidence relied upon by the trial judge in support of his or her findings.

10. Workers' Compensation. When a workers' compensation claimant

Page 312

pleads both specific injury and cumulative trauma as theories of recovery, the compensation court's order must address both theories in order to comply with Workers' Comp. Ct. R. of Proc. 11 (2011).

11. Appeal and Error. Errors argued but not assigned will not be considered on appeal.

Moore, Judge.

[21 Neb.App. 21] Patricia Hadfield appeals from the Workers' Compensation Court's order of dismissal, contending that the order of dismissal did not appropriately address her injuries as arising from cumulative, repetitive trauma. Because we find that the compensation court's order did not provide a meaningful basis for review of ...


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