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Supreme Court Reverses District Court and Remands for Hearing on Permanent Total Disability
Our client, Tyler L. Stallman, was injured in a car accident that occurred in the course of her employment. After receiving a 22% permanent partial impairment award from the Wyoming Worker’s Compensation Division (Division), she sought permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. The Division denied her application stating that she had not complied with the statutory work search requirements. Ms. Stallman requested a contested case hearing. Both parties submitted motions for summary judgment. After a hearing, the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) concluded as a matter of law that Ms. Stallman had not timely submitted documentation showing she had sought work and granted summary judgment for the Division.

Brian Hunter sought review on behalf of Ms. Stallman in the district court, which affirmed the OAH’s ruling. We then pursued her appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court, claiming the OAH ruling granting the Division’s summary judgment motion was arbitrary, capricious and contrary to the evidence.

Specifically, it was argued that the Division improperly denied her application for benefits when she did not submit her work search documentation on the date it arbitrarily imposed—a date weeks before the statutory deadline for submitting her application. We argued that the OAH erred in upholding the denial based upon its incorrect finding that she had failed to provide her work search documentation as required by Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 27-14-405(h)(iii).

The Supreme Court held that Ms. Stallman’s work search submission was timely. and that she was entitled to a hearing and the opportunity to present evidence showing that she actively sought work.  Upon remand, the Wyoming Workers` Compensation Division withdrew its objection.  
 
The case is 2012 WY 147 (Wyo. 2012). 

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