Proof that tasks were performed rapidly secures review of other elements
Case name: Moody v. Addison Shoe Co., et al., No. CA08-452 (Ark. Ct. App. 11/05/08).
Ruling: The Arkansas Court of Appeals reversed the Workers' Compensation Commission's denial of benefits for the claimant's gradual-onset shoulder injury. It returned the case for the commission to reconsider the compensability of the claim, in light of its finding that the claimant established that she performed her repetitive tasks rapidly.
Summary: The claimant spent her entire 30-year career with the employer working as a heel padder. She testified that she would use her right hand to dip a brush in glue, brush the bottom of each heel pad, place it inside a shoe, and press down for a few seconds. She generally completed a rack of 12 pairs of shoes in five minutes, which averaged out to a shoe every 12 to 14 seconds. The commission denied her claim for a gradual-onset shoulder injury. It found that although she proved that her tasks were repetitive, she did not establish that they involved rapid motion, one of the elements needed for compensability. The Court of Appeals disagreed, finding that the claimant satisfied this element. It returned the case for consideration of the remaining compensability elements.
The court pointed out that while the Arkansas General Assembly has not established guidelines for what constitutes "rapid" repetitive motion, two Arkansas cases provided guidance. The Arkansas Supreme Court found that "one bend of the neck every twenty seconds was sufficiently rapid" and that an employee's placement of a nut "on an average of every fifteen seconds during the majority of her shift" satisfied the rapid repetitive motion requirement.
January 19, 2009
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