Howell v. Transit Authority of the City of Omaha

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Howell v. Transit Authority of the City of Omaha

Case Number
A-21-0023
Court Number
Douglas
Call Date
September 16, 2021
Case Time
9:30 AM
Case Summary

A-21-0023, Chanin Howell v. Transit Authority of the City of Omaha d/b/a Metro Area Transit (Appellant)

Workers’ Compensation Court, Judge J. Michael Fitzgerald

Attorneys for Appellant:  Robert Michael Schartz & Julie Marie Ryan (Abrahams Kaslow Law Firm)

Attorney for Appellee:  Thomas D. Wulff (Wulff Law Firm)

Workers’ Compensation Action:  Motion to compel payment for medical treatment

Action taken by the Trial Court:  Prior to trial on her petition for benefits in the compensation court, Howell filed a motion to compel payment by her employer, Metro, for certain medical treatment, among other things, which the court granted. Metro filed a motion to reconsider or modify, which the court denied. Metro appeals from the court’s denial of Metro’s motion to reconsider or modify.

Assignments of Error on Appeal, Consolidated and Restated: Did the trial court act without or in excess of its powers when on a pre-trial motion limited to certain matters, it made certain broader explicit and implicit findings, namely, (1) implicitly finding that Howell had met her burden of proof to show that her work accident was the proximate cause of her complex regional pain syndrome injury, (2) finding that Howell had not yet reached maximum medical improvement,  (3) determining whether Howell had suffered any periods of temporary disability, and (4) finding Howell was entitled to future medical care, including ketamine injections?

Extended Case Summary

Facts: Howell was a bus driver for Metro, who was injured when a large metal pole on the bus she was driving fell and hit her forearm. One of Howell’s treating physician’s recommended ketamine injections for Howell’s diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome, and Howell filed a motion to compel Metro to pay for that treatment. The parties agree that there was a workplace accident and injury, but the nature and extent of that injury are at issue. Also at issue in this appeal are the compensation court’s authority to make certain findings in ruling on Howell’s pretrial motion to compel.

Case Location
Wayne State
Court Type
WCC
Schedule Code
A1
Panel Text
Pirtle, Chief Judge, Moore, and Welch, Judges