Smith's Food and Drug, Inc. v. Labor Commission

250 P.3d 1008 (2011)

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Smith’s Food and Drug, Inc. v. Labor Commission

Utah Court of Appeals
250 P.3d 1008 (2011)

Facts

In 1993 Gina Christensen (plaintiff) started working for Smith’s Food and Drug, Inc. (Smith) (defendant) as a cheese cook. Christensen’s work involved 12-hour shifts of lifting, pushing, and pulling large equipment. In July 2001, Christensen started to experience shoulder pain, which increased during her work. In November 2001, Christensen felt soreness in her shoulder that was different from the pain she felt in July and had constant wrist and elbow pain and numbness in two fingers. Christensen saw her doctor, who determined that she had suffered an acute event due to a work-related injury. A second doctor performed an evaluation pursuant to Smith’s request and found no causal relationship between Christensen’s medical condition and her work, stating that Christensen had a preexisting condition. In August 2002, Christensen filed for workers’-compensation benefits. As a result of the different opinions of the two doctors, a medical panel was appointed by the Utah Labor Commission (the commission). The medical panel found in Christensen’s favor, and the commission granted workers’-compensation benefits. Smith filed a petition for review challenging the award, arguing that Christensen was not injured by accident and was therefore not entitled to benefits.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Voros, J.)

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