State News : Arkansas

NWCDN is a network of law firms dedicated to protecting employers in workers’ compensation claims.

NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.  

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In Melton v. Clarksville Sch. Dist., 2023 Ark. App. 282, the Arkansas Court of Appeals considered an appeal and cross-appeal from a decision by the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission to award Judy Melton permanent disability benefits for a four percent impairment to her cervical spine and five percent wage-loss disability. On appeal, the claimant contended the Commission should have credited her treating orthopedist’s opinion that she suffered an eight percent cervical impairment, nine percent to her lumbar spine, and five percent for a brain injury. Her employer accepted the four-percent neck impairment, but controverted everything else, including the wage-loss award.


As to the wage-loss award, the Court noted that it reviews the Commission's findings about wage-loss disability for substantial evidence. It also noted that determining wage-loss disability is a “fact intensive” inquiry that calls for the Commission to consider a number of factors.  “As the number of factors the Commission can consider increases, the number of unique combinations of factors increases exponentially. Determining that "no fair-minded person" could have made the wage-loss award requires us to consider every combination of factors the Commission could have weighed and every combination of ways it could have weighed them.”  As such, the Court of Appeals found that unless the Commission recites an improper basis for its award, “the appropriateness of a particular award is beyond meaningful review.”