An Arkansas appellate court recently affirmed a decision denying a claim filed by a patient-care technician who contended that her corneal ulcer resulted from or was exacerbated by a workplace incident in which urine splashed on her face while she took care of a patient in the course of her employment [Adams v. St. Vincent Health Sys., 2013 Ark. App. 211, 2013 Ark. App. LEXIS 227 (Apr. 3, 2013)].
Repeating the oft-stated rule that questions of weight and credibility were within the sole province of the Commission and that once the Commission had made its decision on such issues, the appellate court was bound by that decision, the court further indicated that there was evidence that appellant had been treated for a non-work-related eye condition related to contact-lens use approximately three weeks before the work-related incident and had been prescribed antibiotic drops at that time. The court also observed that a treating physician stated that urine is usually sterile and does not contain bacteria and that, although it was not impossible that the splash incident played a part in causing appellant’s corneal ulcer, it was also possible that improper hygiene and care connected with contact-lens use could have been the cause of the ulcer.
The court concluded that in light of such evidence, it could not say the Commission erred in in concluding that appellant failed to prove that her corneal ulcer was caused by the work incident that she described.