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White v. District of Columbia Dep't of Empl. Servs.

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

July 23, 2015

HELEN WHITE, PETITIONER,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SERVICES, RESPONDENT, and WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY, INTERVENOR

Submitted April 21, 2015

(CRB-165-13).

Krista N. DeSmyter was on the brief for petitioner.

Eugene A. Adams, Interim Attorney General for the District of Columbia at the time the brief was filed, Todd S. Kim, Solicitor General, Loren L. AliKhan, Deputy Solicitor General, and Richard S. Love, Senior Assistant Attorney General, filed a statement in lieu of brief for respondent.

Kathryn H.S. Pett, Sarah O. Rollman, and Donna J. Henderson were on the brief for intervenor.

Before BECKWITH and MCLEESE, Associate Judges, and NEBEKER, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Page 616

Petition for Review of an Order of the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services Compensation Review Board

McLeese, Associate Judge

Petitioner Helen White seeks review of an order denying her workers' compensation benefits. The Compensation Review Board (CRB) concluded that Ms. White was not entitled to compensation for proposed medical treatments, because Ms. White could not show that the proposed treatments were reasonable and necessary. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

I.

The following facts are undisputed in this court. Ms. White worked as a bus operator for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for twenty years. She injured her neck and lower back in a work-related accident in 2006. She has not returned to work since August 2006. Dr. Eric G. Dawson treated her with intramuscular injections, muscle relaxants, pain medication, anti-inflammatory medication, sleep medication, and physical therapy.

In 2008, the parties agreed that WMATA would be liable for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses that were causally related to the accident. In 2012, WMATA denied approval for additional treatment by Dr. Dawson. At WMATA's request, Dr. Louis Levitt performed an independent medical examination (IME) of Ms. White in early 2013. Dr. Levitt determined that Ms. White did not need further medical treatment. A utilization review was then conducted to determine if further treatment by Dr. Dawson was reasonable and medically necessary. See D.C. Code § 32-1501 (18A) (2012 Repl.) ( " 'Utilization review' means the evaluation of the necessity, character, and sufficiency of both the level and [the] quality of medically related services provided an injured employee . . . ." ). The reviewer determined that further treatment was not reasonable and necessary.

Ms. White contested that determination, seeking an award ordering WMATA to pay for the treatments proposed by Dr. Dawson. ...


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