FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND
trial in this matter was held in Billings, Montana, on
November 14, 1994. The petitioner, Ms. Carol Mathison
(claimant), was present and represented herself. Respondent,
Willis Corroon (insurer), was represented by Mr. Norman H.
Grosfield. The claimant and her husband, Mr. Marvin Mathison,
were sworn and testified. Exhibits 1 through 3 were admitted
by agreement of the parties. No depositions were taken and
the matter was deemed submitted at the end of trial.
considered the testimony of claimant and her husband, the
exhibits, and the arguments of the parties, the Court makes
claimant suffered an industrial injury on October 31, 1986.
The primary injury was to her right wrist but in 1988 she
also began experiencing headaches and pain in her right
shoulder. Over the years she has continued to experience
headaches and pain in her shoulder and cervical area. She has
been variously diagnosed as suffering from myofascial pain
syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic pain syndrome, and tension
insurer accepted liability for the injury and has paid
various medical and compensation benefits.
Claimant and the insurer entered into a full and final
compromise settlement which was approved on March 18, 1993.
The agreement reserved medical and hospital benefits for the
the time of the agreement claimant was receiving physical
therapy treatment for her shoulder. She had periodically been
receiving treatments since at least 1990.
Claimant last received physical therapy on January 7, 1994.
At that time her physical therapist provided her with written
instructions for exercises to do on her own. She was
discharged from therapy at that time.
Claimant thereafter sought the insurer's approval for
additional physical therapy treatment. She testified that she
did her exercises after January 7, 1994, and she was doing
well until she slipped, caught herself, and experienced
renewed pain in her shoulder.
July 6, 1994, the insurer notified claimant that it was
denying further payment for physical therapy.
the years claimant has been treated by a number of different
physicians. In 1992 Dr. Enrico Arguelles, who is board
certified in internal medicine and rheumatology, assumed
claimant's regular care. Since then he has seen claimant
periodically. His most recent examination of claimant was on
October 6, 1994.
Claimant's medical records for the past two and one half
years (1992 to 1994) were introduced into evidence at the
hearing. Those records show that claimant developed a
"dependency" on physical therapy and that the
therapy was not providing her medical benefit.
a) On November 2, 1993, Dr. Arguelles recommended that
claimant be examined by Dr. William Rosen, a physiatrist, to
address claimant's "continuing need for ...