Carol Ostrow Apr. 28, 2015, 9:36am


A Port Arthur resident brought a complaint against a state agency contesting its earlier decision regarding a 2012 workplace accident.

Lisa Atkins-January filed a request for appeal on April 15 against the State Office of Risk Management in Jefferson County District Court, claiming that a 2015 hearing decision on her November 2012 accident was incorrect.

The lawsuit states that Atkins-January tripped while ascending a staircase at her place of employment on Nov. 17, 2012. There was some dispute concerning details in her reporting of the accident for the purpose of workman’s compensation, the complaint states. Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that any preexisting conditions were exacerbated by the incident; and that the adjuster took some statements out of context to deliberately aid in the denial of her claim.

Arguing that the details of her injury were bona fide, Atkins-January alleges that medical documentation supports her grounds for appeal. The claim originally was examined by an orthopedic surgeon, whose findings recommended a surgical procedure for the complainant’s spinal pain, according to court documents.

Alleging that a causal connection had been established between alleged conditions and the mechanism of injury, Atkins-January claims that therefore the hearing officer’s findings were at least partially incorrect in determining that her condition was not eligible for compensation.

Denying that she has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), the plaintiff requests that the court amend the hearing officer’s decision. She asks to be awarded compensation for medical expenses to include the surgery that was recommended by her medical professional and necessary to obtain a return-to-work release.

Jefferson County District Court case no. B-197001

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