Adams v. Board Of Review Of Indus. Comm'n

821 P.2d 1 (1991)


P worked as a telemarketer. P dialed telephone numbers and talking on the telephone while sitting at a desk. She was not equipped with a headset or any type of automatic dialing equipment. She was required to dial manually and hold the receiver to her ear and mouth. After approximately one year, P left to seek medical attention for debilitating pain she claimed had developed gradually as a result of her employment. P claims that the repetitive motion of calling on a manual phone and holding the phone to her mouth and ear caused her neck pain, neck stiffness, muscle spasm, pain in her right arm and shoulder, a 'pins and needles' sensation and numbness in her right shoulder and arm, and fatigue. Her supervisor referred her to his chiropractor, Dr. Robert Pope, for treatment. Dr. Pope examined her and diagnosed her as having 'cervico-brachial syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, myofascitis, and brachial neuralgia.' Dr. Pope described the conditions as 'repetitive motion syndrome.' Dr. Pope also indicated that he believed there was a very high probability that P's condition resulted from her job duties. Another chiropractor, Dr. Arnold Otterson, diagnosed P as having acute traumatic cervico-brachial syndrome with associated brachial neuralgia. Dr. Otterson likewise described the condition as repetitive motion syndrome. He treated her for several months, and her condition improved. Dr. Otterson indicated to D that in his professional opinion, P's 'condition was directly related to her employment due to repetitive use of the phone.' Dr. Richard Jackson, an orthopedic surgeon, indicated that P was suffering from a degenerative C5-6 disc. Dr. Joseph R. Watkins, a neurologist, diagnosed P as having 'work-related cervical strain with some head discomfort and right shoulder discomfort' and 'stress syndrome with multiple other symptoms, essentially resolved with resolution of work.' The Workers' Compensation Fund required P to undergo an independent medical evaluation by Dr. Edward Spencer. Dr. Spencer diagnosed P as having probable 'conversion disorder,' 'chronic cervical and lumbar disc disease,' 'chondromalacia of the patello-femoral joint,' and 'obesity and poor conditioning.' He found that her major problem was psychological and did not require any additional medical or surgical treatment for her condition. Dr. Leonard W. Jarcho, on behalf of the Compensation Fund, concluded that P did not have any neurological problem and concluded that P was in need of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. Another Fund doctor, Dr. David L. McCann, a psychiatrist, concluded that P suffered from a personality disorder and did not have any physical impairment or other problems associated with her employment, but that her complaints were motivated by a desire to obtain compensation. The A.L.J. denied benefits. P appealed to D, which affirmed the decision and adopted the findings and conclusions of the A.L.J. as its own. P seeks review.