Appeal from the District Court of Hettinger County, Southwest Judicial District, the Honorable H. Patrick Weir, Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: VandeWalle, Chief Justice.
N.D. Supreme Court Landrum v. Workforce Safety and Insurance, 2011 ND 108
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Opinion of the Court by VandeWalle, Chief Justice.
Landrum v. Workforce Safety and Insurance No. 20100374
[¶1] Richard Landrum appealed a district court judgment affirming an order of Workforce Safety and Insurance ("WSI") denying further benefits. We affirm, concluding that administrative res judicata did not bar WSI from denying further benefits and that a reasoning mind reasonably could have concluded that Landrum failed to prove his work injury was a substantial, contributing factor to his headaches and vision problems.
[¶2] In 1990, while working in New England, Landrum was struck in the nose by a sliding metal meat hook, resulting in a fractured nose and a laceration requiring three stitches, antibiotics, and analgesics. Three days later, Landrum told an ear-nose-throat specialist that before his work injury, he had previously broken his nose, and the specialist determined no further treatment was necessary. WSI awarded Landrum benefits for his injuries.
[¶3] Landrum's medical records indicate that the next medical treatment occurred in 1993, when he was suffering from migraine-type headaches in New Jersey. He told his doctor in New Jersey his headaches began about a year and a half earlier and that they had become progressively worse. He informed his doctor about a severe car accident he was involved with in 1985, resulting in a concussion and putting him in a coma for two weeks.
[¶4] Landrum moved to Virginia and began treatment for his headaches there in the fall of 1993. He informed his doctor of the1990 work injury and other injuries. Landrum did not return to this doctor until 1997, when he complained of intense and chronic headaches. He told the doctor he had back surgery in 1995.
[¶5] Landrum received pain management care sporadically until 2001, when he began to see Dr. John Daugherty. Landrum was experiencing pain from headaches, low back and leg problems, and vision problems. Landrum had also received treatment from an ophthalmologist regarding his vision problems.
[¶6] In 2002, Dr. Daugherty prescribed Viagra to treat Landrum's sexual dysfunction. WSI questioned the Viagra prescription's connection to the 1990 meat hook work injury, and Dr. Daugherty sent WSI a letter indicating a causal connection between the work injury and Landrum's sexual dysfunction. WSI denied payment for the Viagra, ultimately issuing an order denying benefits for the Viagra. Landrum sought reconsideration of the order and requested a formal hearing, after which an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") determined WSI was not liable for the Viagra because Virginia's Workers' ...