EDWARD E. BRAY, Petitioner,
PECOFACET HOUSTON, LLC, TRAVELERS INDEMNITY CO. OF AMERICA and THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION, Respondents.
Mandate Issued: 05/24/2017
TO REVIEW AN ORDER OF A THREE-COMMISSIONER PANEL OF THE
WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION HONORABLE TARA A.
INHOFE, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE
Burke, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Michael R. Green, Tulsa,
Oklahoma, for Petitioner
Foreman, Jill R. Fidelie, ADELSON, TESTAN, BRUNDO, NOVELL
& JIMENEZ, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Respondents
Hunter, ATTORNEY GENERAL, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for
Edward E. Bray (Claimant), appeals an Order of the Oklahoma
Workers' Compensation Commission (WCC) ruling that the
Employer, Pecofacet Houston, LLC, and its insurer, have the
right to select the treating physician for Claimant's
This appeal calls for the interpretation of 85A O.S.Supp.
2015, § 50 (A) and (B), in light of the facts of Record.
On September 10, 2015, Claimant was injured at work. On
October 15, 2015, Claimant filed his formal notice of claim
alleging injury to the left shoulder and neck.  On November
24, 2015, Employer admitted the shoulder injury, but denied
the neck injury. 
When the injury occurred, Employer provided prompt medical
attention and at Physician's Clinic. The physician
reported the shoulder treatment as of October 2, 2015.
The Record shows that, on October 6, 2015, Claimant
complained about his neck to the physician treating his
shoulder.  On November 6, 2015, the physician at
the clinic recommended that Claimant be referred to a spine
specialist.  An x-ray examination on November 6,
2015, did not disclose any injury.  On November 23, 2015,
after referral by Physician's Clinic, an MRI was
performed. The reported findings were "no disc
herniation or significant stenosis" and
"non-specific sclerotic lesion in C4."
Employer relies on this report for its positions that
Claimant did not sustain a work-related injury to his neck
and as justification for not providing medical treatment for
a neck injury. Employer continued to deny that a neck
work-related injury occurred through trial and appeal.
On December 18, 2015, WCC authorized a change of physicians
for Claimant's shoulder treatment. After examination on
January 7, 2016, this new physician issued a report. The
report recited that Claimant complained of "significant
pain" in his neck. The physician noted that prior tests
did not show neck injury, but nevertheless, he recommended
then, and again by report of February 8, 2016, that Claimant
be seen by a spine specialist or a neurologist for an opinion
regarding the neck complaints. 
On February 10, 2016, nerve conduction studies and an
electromyography were performed. These tests disclosed
cervical radiculopathy and ulna neuropathy related to the
injury at work. It appears that Claimant paid for this test.
The WCC affirmed the ruling by the Administrative Law Judge
(ALJ) that Claimant sustained a work-related neck injury.
Neither party appealed this determination.
The ALJ also ruled that Employer had not provided medical
care for the neck injury within five days as required by
statute. The ALJ ordered that Claimant could choose his
physician. The WCC reversed this part of the ALJ's
decision and ruled ...