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Providence Hospital v. District of Columbia Department of Employment Services

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

July 6, 2017

Providence Hospital, et al, Petitioners,
v.
District of Columbia Department of Employment Services, Respondent. And Bonnie Poznanski, Intervenor.

          Submitted May 3, 2016

         Petition for Review of a Decision of the Compensation and Review Board of the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (CRB-819-15)

          ToddS. Sapiro was on the brief for petitioners.

          Karl A. Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Todd S. Kim, Solicitor General, and Loren L. AliKhan, Deputy Solicitor General, were on the statement in lieu of brief for respondent.

          David M. Snyder was on the brief for intervenor.

          Before Beckwith, Associate Judge, and Washington [*] and Nebeker, Senior Judges.

          NEBEKER, SENIOR JUDGE

         Due to the concurrent nature of her employment, intervenor-claimant, Bonnie Poznanski, was awarded temporary total and temporary partial injury benefits for a work related injury sustained on April 3, 2013. At the time of injury, intervenor was employed full-time by petitioner, Providence Hospital, and part-time by Baltimore Washington Medical Center ("BWMC"). Intervenor's injury occurred at work for petitioner during an argument with a colleague. During the argument, the colleague pushed intervenor and aggravated her pre-existing left-shoulder condition. Petitioner challenges whether the Compensation Review Board's ("CRB") decision was based upon substantial evidence and in accordance with the law. Specifically, petitioner challenges whether the intervenor can be awarded both temporary total and temporary partial benefits for the same injury, and whether intervenor voluntarily limited her income. We affirm.

         I.

         Before the April 3, 2013, injury, intervenor suffered a left shoulder work injury on December 6, 2011. After this time, intervenor's work was modified insofar as she needed assistance with lifting, pushing, and pulling patients. Both employers accommodated these restrictions.[1]

         After the April 3, 2013, injury, however, BWMC was no longer able to accommodate intervenor's work restrictions. Indeed, intervenor's doctor, Dr. David Johnson, restricted her from all work at BWMC because he was concerned overusing the shoulder would cause further damage.

         On June 27, 2013, intervenor returned to modified work for petitioner. Then, on July 16, 2013, intervenor was lifting a patient with her right arm when something "snapped" in her right shoulder. While doing physical therapy for her right shoulder, intervenor's left shoulder worsened.[2] Intervenor was released to return to modified duty with petitioner sometime before August, 31, 2013. As of that date, however, petitioner could no longer accommodate intervenor and did not allow her to return to work.

         Petitioner had intervenor evaluated by Dr. John O'Donnell for the purpose of an independent medical evaluation. Dr. O'Donnell found intervenor's left shoulder condition to be the ...


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