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2011-UP-002 - Miller v. SCDVR

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Brenda Miller, Appellant,

   v.

South Carolina Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Employer, State Accident Fund, Carrier, Respondents.


Appeal From Richland County
Appellate Panel, Workers' Compensation Commission


Unpublished Opinion No. 2011-UP-002
Submitted November 1, 2010 – Filed January 20, 2011


AFFIRMED


J. Marvin Mullis, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Cynthia Burns Polk, Matt Robertson, and Ajerenal Danley, of Columbia, for Respondents.

PER CURIAM:  Brenda Miller appeals the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission's order, contending the Commission erred in finding: (1) injuries to certain body parts were not compensable; (2) she failed to prove compensability for regional pain syndrome (RSD) of her right arm; and (3) Dr. Green Neal was not authorized for payment or treatment.  We affirm[1] pursuant to Rule 220(b), SCACR, and the following:

1. We find no reversible error in the Commission's findings regarding compensability of certain body parts.  See Shealy v. Aiken County, 341 S.C. 448, 455, 535 S.E.2d 438, 442 (2000) (stating that in workers' compensation cases, the Commission is the ultimate finder of fact); Hoxit v. Michelin Tire Corp., 304 S.C. 461, 465, 405 S.E.2d 407, 409 (1991) (finding where there is conflicting evidence, the findings of fact of the Commission are conclusive).

2. We likewise find no reversible error in the Commission's finding of Miller's failure to prove compensability for RSD.  See S.C. Code Ann. § 42-1-160(E) (Supp. 2009) (requiring an employee to establish an injury arose in the course of employment by medical evidence in medically complex cases); Lark v. Bi-Lo, Inc., 276 S.C. 130, 136, 276 S.E.2d 304, 307 (1981) (finding this court may not substitute its judgment for that of the Commission as to the weight of the evidence on questions of fact); Pack v. S.C. Dep't of Transp., 381 S.C. 526, 536, 673 S.E.2d 461, 466-67 (Ct. App. 2009) (finding the Commission need not accept or believe medical or other expert testimony, even when it is uncontroverted).

3. We affirm the Commission's finding regarding payment of medical care by Dr. Neal.  See S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 67-509(A) (1990) ("The employer's representative chooses an authorized health care provider and pays for authorized treatment."); Hall v. United Rentals, Inc., 371 S.C. 69, 86-87, 636 S.E.2d 876, 885-86 (Ct. App. 2006) (discussing the rights and limitations of employers and employees in choosing medical providers in workers' compensation actions); Clark v. Aiken County Gov't, 366 S.C. 102, 114, 620 S.E.2d 99, 105 (Ct. App. 2005) (explaining that although the claimant was justified in seeking treatment by an unauthorized provider, the more appropriate procedure would have been to seek an order from the Commission). 

AFFIRMED.

FEW, C.J., SHORT and WILLIAMS, JJ., concur.


[1]  We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.