Submitted: October 5, 2018
ORDER AFFIRMING DEPARTMENT OF LABOR &
INDUSTRY'S ORDER GRANTING INTERIM BENEFITS
M. SANDLER JUDGE.
Appellant appeals from a Department order granting
Appellee's petition for interim TTD benefits under §
The Department's order is affirmed. Appellant did not
demonstrate that the Department erred in awarding interim
benefits, and Appellee presented substantial evidence to
establish a prima facie case for interim TTD
1 Appellant Arch Insurance Company (Arch) appeals an order
from the Department of Labor & Industry (Department)
granting Appellee/Claimant Tim Clark (Clark) interim
temporary total disability (TTD) benefits under §
39-71-610, MCA. Clark argues this Court should affirm.
and Procedural History
2 This Court takes the following facts and procedural history
from correspondence between the parties' attorneys,
correspondence between Coventry's nurse case manager and
Clark, and Clark's medical records.
3 On October 31, 2017, Clark was injured in the course of his
employment with Riverside Contracting. During the accident in
which Clark rolled a semitrailer, he sustained a blow to his
head and lost consciousness.
4 Following the accident, Clark remained employed and worked
his assigned shifts. However, Clark experienced numerous near
5 On December 6, 2017, Paul Johnson, MD, diagnosed Clark with
a mild traumatic brain injury. Dr. Johnson noted that Clark
was suffering from increased levels of anxiety, memory loss,
attention disorder, headaches, restlessness, and outbursts of
anger. Dr. Johnson took Clark off work shortly thereafter.
6 Thereafter, Clark underwent a course of physical therapy
and prescription medications.
7 On May 31, 2018, Clark had an appointment with Dr. Johnson.
Dr. Johnson noted that Clark "seems to have gotten
worse." Dr. Johnson also noted that Clark "feels
very unsafe and unsure of himself been having lots of anxiety
if he was to make a mistake at work and hurt somebody."
Dr. Johnson noted, "Patient's anxiety and anger are
of a big concern at this point. His sleep disturbance is
affecting his quality of life. Patient has significant
anxiety in regards to returning to work and would almost seem
like posttraumatic stress disorder." Dr. Johnson filled
out a Medical Status Form in which he released Clark to
"light duty driving" but stated that Clark could
not do "big rig" or "equipment" driving.
8 After this appointment, Dr. Johnson met with Clark,
Clark's attorney, and Candi Krezelak, RN, nurse case
manager for Arch. Krezelak sent an email in which she
summarized what Dr. Johnson said during this meeting.
Krezelak reported that Dr. Johnson stated Clark had a
traumatic brain injury and was still suffering from high
levels of anxiety, depression, anger, headaches,
irritability, and memory loss. Krezelak also stated that Dr.
Johnson referred Clark for a neuropsychological examination
and to a neurologist.
9 At the end of her email, Krezelak included a message from
Clark's employer stating that it had a light-duty job for
Clark, that being operating a power broom on highway
construction. The employer stated it was an "easy
job" with no big trucks or big equipment and that Clark
would move from project to project.
10 On June 5, 2018, Krezelak sent Dr. Johnson a Job Analysis
(JA) for the power broom operator position and asked whether
Clark could perform this job. In general, the JA states that
the job entails driving a pickup truck pulling a trailer
loaded with a power broom, unloading the power broom to sweep
the highway of loose gravel, and driving to the next project.
On June 26, 2018, Dr. Johnson approved the JA.
11 However, following a June 28, 2018, appointment with
Clark, Dr. Johnson filled out a Medical Status Form in which
he wrote that Clark was not released to perform "out of
town work" and could only work "local" jobs.