Workers' Compensation: Appeal and Error.
A judgment, order, or award of the Workers' Compensation
court may be modified, reversed, or set aside only upon the
grounds that (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.
___. Determinations by a trial judge of the compensation
court will not be disturbed on appeal unless they are
contrary to law or depend on findings of fact which are
clearly wrong in light of the evidence.
___. On appellate review, the factual findings made by the
trial judge of the compensation court have the effect of a
jury verdict and will not be disturbed unless clearly wrong.
___. An appellate court is obligated in compensation court
cases to make its own determinations as to questions of law.
Courts: Appeal and Error. Under the doctrine
of stare decisis, lower courts must follow the precedent of
higher appellate courts.
Workers' Compensation: Proof. Under Neb.
Rev. Stat. § 48-151(2) (Reissue 2010), an injured worker
must satisfy three elements to prove an injury is the result
of an accident: (1) The injury must be unexpected or
unforeseen, (2) the accident must happen suddenly and
violently, and (3) the accident must produce at the time
objective symptoms of injury.
Workers' Compensation: Time: Proof: Words and
Phrases. Under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-151(2)
(Reissue 2010), "suddenly and violently" [27 Neb.
934] does not mean instantaneously and with force; instead,
the element is satisfied if the injury occurs at an
identifiable point in time, requiring the employee to
discontinue employment and seek medical treatment. The time
of an accident is sufficiently definite if either the cause
is reasonably limited in time or the result materializes at
an identifiable point.
Workers' Compensation: Time: Proof. An
employee establishes an identifiable point in time when a
repetitive trauma injury occurs if the employee discontinues
work and seeks medical treatment; it does not matter how long
the discontinuation of employment lasts.
Workers' Compensation. As the trier of
fact, the compensation court is the sole judge of the
credibility of witnesses and the weight to be given their
from the Workers' Compensation Court: Daniel R. Fridrich,
Timothy E. Clarke and Eric J. Sutton, of Baylor Evnen,
L.L.P., for appellants.
Gaylene Scholz, of Law Offices of Jamie G. Scholz, PC,
L.L.O., for appellee.
Pirtle, Riedmann, and Welch, Judges.
Paper Company and Old Republic Insurance Company
(collectively International Paper) appeal the Nebraska
Workers' Compensation Court's award, finding that
Jose Martinez suffered a repetitive trauma injury and