Commission Refusal to Accept Workers Version of Back Injury Accident
Appellant filed a workers' compensation claim against appellee, alleging that he sustained a work-related back injury.
The Workers' Compensation Commission denied benefits pursuant to its finding that Appellant failed to prove that he suffered a compensable injury on that date.
The Arkansas Court stated:
When the Commission denies coverage because the claimant failed to meet his burden of proof, the substantial evidence standard of review requires us to affirm the Commission's decision if its opinion displays a substantial basis for the denial of relief. McMillan v. U.S. Motors, 59 Ark. App. 85, 953 S.W.2d 907 (1997).
In determining the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the findings of the Commission, we review the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commission's findings and affirm if they are supported by substantial evidence. Weldon v. Pierce Bros. Constr., 54 Ark. App. 344, 925 S.W.2d 179 (1996).
Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. City of Fort Smith v. Brooks, 40 Ark. App. 120, 842 S.W.2d 463 (1992).
The question is not whether the evidence would have supported findings contrary to the ones made by the Commission; there may be substantial evidence to support the Commission's decision even though we might have reached a different conclusion if we sat as the trier of fact or heard the case de novo. Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Disheroon, 26 Ark. App. 145, 761 S.W.2d 617 (1998).
However, while the Commission's findings are insulated to a certain degree from appellate review, its decisions are not, and should not be, so insulated that it would make appellate review meaningless. Lloyd v. United Parcel Service, 2000 Ark; and see Patterson v. Lay, Inc., 66 Ark. App. 159, 992 S.W.2d 130 (1999).