Wyoming Supreme Court
CHEYENNE -- A former employee with a long history of back problems cannot receive disability benefits for a claimed work-related back injury, the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled today. In Daniel J. David vs. State of Wyoming (No. 06-101) the Supreme Court affirmed an order of the state's Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) denying David medical and temporary total disability benefits. David, formerly a truck driver for PDQ Transport of Cheyenne, claimed he had injured his lower back in July, 2004 while covering a load. However, the OAH ruled that David "had not met his burden of establishing that the requested benefits were for a work-related injury." David appealed to the Supreme Court on several grounds, one stating that the OAS examiner's decision that his injuries were not work-related was "arbitrary and capricious." But the Supreme Court rebutted this claim, citing numerous examples of health care professionals who had treated David's injury but were not aware of prior injuries when forming an opinion about its cause. "Under the circumstances, we cannot say that the hearing examiner was wrong to discount the medical opinions proffered by David's witnesses," wrote Justice Hill. "The determination...that David had failed to meet his burden of proof was not arbitrary or capricious."