Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Gilbertson v. Williams Dingmann, LLC

Supreme Court of Minnesota

May 3, 2017

Shannon Gilbertson, Respondent,
v.
Williams Dingmann, LLC, United Fire & Casualty Group, Relators, and PAR, Inc., Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota, Intervenors.

         Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals Office of Appellate Courts

          Aaron W. Ferguson, Aaron Ferguson Law, Saint Paul, Minnesota, for respondent.

          Susan K.H. Conley, Richard C. Nelson, Sarah E. Bushnell, Arthur, Chapman, Kettering, Smetak & Pikala, P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota, for relators.

         SYLLABUS

         Under the plain language of Minn. Stat. § 176.101, subd. 1(i) (2016), an offer to return to work with the same employer is not "consistent with" the parties' agreed-upon plan of rehabilitation stating that the employee's vocational goal is to return to work with a different employer.

         Affirmed.

          OPINION

          HUDSON, Justice.

         Relators Williams Dingmann, LLC, and United Fire & Casualty Group appeal from a decision of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA) that reversed the compensation judge's decision to discontinue temporary total disability compensation. At issue is whether, under Minn. Stat. § 176.101, subd. 1(i) (2016), an offer to return to work with the same employer is "consistent with" a plan of rehabilitation stating that the employee's vocational goal is to return to work with a different employer in the same industry. Based on the plain language of Minn. Stat. § 176.101, subd. 1(i), we affirm.

         FACTS

         Respondent Shannon Gilbertson, a licensed mortician, worked for Williams Dingmann, LLC (Dingmann), as a funeral director for over 7 years. Gilbertson's responsibilities included transporting bodies from the location of death or receiving bodies at the funeral home; embalming, dressing, and applying cosmetics to bodies; placing bodies in caskets; and coordinating funeral services and visitations. Gilbertson generally worked Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and also was on-call outside of this schedule when needed to transport a body from the place of death.

         In 2011, Gilbertson's on-call schedule began to conflict with her family obligations due to the age of her children and her spouse's work commitments. Gilbertson discussed her concerns with Dingmann and understood that Dingmann would adjust her on-call schedule to accommodate her family obligations. Later, when Gilbertson learned that Dingmann could no longer accommodate her request to modify her on-call schedule, she submitted a letter of resignation on September 26, 2011, which was effective December 31, 2011.

         On October 13, 2011, Gilbertson suffered a low back injury at work. Dingmann accepted responsibility for the injury and compensated Gilbertson for all reasonably necessary medical expenses incurred in connection with that injury. Gilbertson's last day of work with Dingmann was October 13, 2011.

         By April 2012, Gilbertson's treating physician had released her to work with moderate restrictions. Around the same time, Gilbertson met with a qualified rehabilitation consultant (QRC). Based on discussions with Gilbertson, the QRC completed an R-2 Rehabilitation Plan that identified Gilbertson's vocational goals and rehabilitation services. See Minn. R. 5220.0410, subp. 1 (2015) ("The purpose of the rehabilitation plan is to communicate to all interested parties the vocational goal, the rehabilitation services, and the projected amounts of time and money that will be needed to achieve the vocational goal."). The QRC had two options for Gilbertson's vocational goal: "[return to work] same employer" or "[return to work] different employer."[1] Gilbertson's QRC checked the option for "[return to work] different employer" as the vocational goal, and added in the "QRC Comments": "Ms. Gilbertson would like to return to her same industry and different employer." As required by Minn. R. 5220.0410, subp. 3 (2015), the QRC provided the proposed Rehabilitation Plan to Gilbertson and Dingmann. Ultimately, Dingmann's insurer's representative, the QRC, and Gilbertson each signed the Plan "signifying [their] agreement." Minn. R. 5220.0410, subp. 4(A) (2015).

         On June 18, 2012, Dingmann offered Gilbertson a funeral-director position that became available due to the departure of another director. The position was "at the same compensation and work schedule" as her prior position with Dingmann. Dingmann also agreed to "make all reasonable accommodations until [Gilbertson's] restrictions have been removed, " but made no proposal to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.