NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION
WAL-MART ASSOCIATES, INC. and
CLAIMS MANAGEMENT, INC.
MAY 23, 2007
APPEAL FROM THE WORKERS’
Carol Luellen appeals a decision of the Workers’ Compensation Commission denying
her claim for an alleged injury that occurred on March 11, 2005 and for subsequent spinal
surgery. The incident leading to her claim occurred when, as Luellen knelt to tape a torn bag
of dog food, a forklift driver set a loaded pallet beside her and bags were dumped onto her.
On appeal Luellen challenges the Commission’s findings that an injury to her lumbar spine was
not compensable and that she was not entitled to the surgery. Wal-Mart responds that
substantial evidence supports the findings that Luellen did not sustain a compensable injury and
that her surgery was not a reasonable or necessary result of the accident. We affirm the
Commission’s denial of the claim.
We will not reverse a decision of the Commission unless we are convinced that
fair-minded persons with the same facts before them could not have reached the Commission’s
conclusions. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Sands, 80 Ark. App. 51, 91 S.W.3d 93 (2002). It is
well-established that the determination of the credibility and weight to be given a witness’s
testimony is within the sole province of the Commission. Id. If the Commission has denied
a claim because of the claimant’s failure to meet his or her burden of proof, the substantial
evidence standard of review requires that we affirm if the Commission’s opinion displays a
substantial basis for the denial of relief. Williams v. Ark. Oak Flooring Co., 267 Ark. 810, 590
S.W.2d 328 (Ark. App. 1979).
Luellen received conservative treatment for soft-tissue strain upon Wal-Mart’s initial
acceptance of the claim and acknowledgment of the incident. An MRI was performed two
months after the incident, and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tony Raben recommended