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Gary Atkin

Posts: 10
A hospital worker claimed she contracted meningitis at work, causing her injury.  One doctor initially examining her declared there was reason to believe she did not have meningitis but noted the necessity of further tests to rule it out.  Other preliminary statements indicated, "no lab confirmation at time of discharge" or "no clear evidence of meningitis."  Subsequently, after further testing, the worker's doctor concluded she did have meningitis. Employer argued that the Commission was required to appoint a medical panel because there were "conflicting medical reports."  However, the Commission determined these "preliminary" determinations were not in actual conflict and that a medical panel was not required.  The Commission then awarded benefits.  On a Motion for Review, the Employer asserted this claim again and further asserted that there had been a subsequent deposition by one of the doctors in a different proceeding, based upon which the Commission should direct the ALJ to re-open the record and allow that deposition to be introduced.  Although that doctor had previously stated only that there was "no clear evidence of meningitis", he stated in the deposition that it was likely not meningitis but, rather, Rocky Mountain spotted fever.  The Commission declared that the deposition testimony was "ambiguous and equivocal" and not such as to require a reopening of the evidence and affirmed the ALJ's determination.  The Court of Appeals again noted that whether the reports are "conflicting" is a factual determination the Courts would not overturn where there was evidence supporting that determination and the same applied with regard to the Commission's determination of whether the subsequent deposition testimony was such as to require a reopening of the record.  Timpanogos Hospital v. Labor Commission, 2011 UT App. 106, 251 P. 3d 855 (Utah App., 2011).
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