of Appellate Courts Workers' Compensation Court of
Hudson, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, pro se.
Douglas J. Brown, Brown & Carlson, P.A., Minneapolis,
Minnesota, for relators.
Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals abused its
discretion when it set aside the respondent's stipulated
award of benefits based on an expert medical opinion that
and decided by the court without oral argument.
case requires us to determine whether the Workers'
Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA) erred in granting
respondent Eddie Hudson's petition to vacate an award of
workers' compensation benefits. Hudson, who was injured
while working for Trillium Staffing, filed a workers'
compensation claim that the parties later settled. About a
year after the settlement, Hudson filed a petition to vacate
the award with the WCCA, which granted Hudson's petition
on the ground that his medical condition had substantially
changed in a way that clearly was not, and could not
reasonably have been, anticipated. Because the medical
opinion underlying the WCCA's decision lacked foundation,
essential facts in this case are undisputed. On April 16,
2014, respondent Eddie Hudson was injured in the course of
his employment with Trillium Staffing when the semitrailer
truck that he was driving jackknifed and veered into a ditch.
Hudson was treated for three general categories of injuries
after the crash: (1) injuries to his neck and low back; (2) a
traumatic brain injury; and (3) psychological injuries.
neck and low-back injuries, Hudson was treated by Dr. Victor
Van Hee, who diagnosed neck and low-back strains. Dr. Van Hee
assigned a permanent partial disability (PPD) rating of 12% and 10% for the low-back and
neck strains, respectively, and a PPD rating of 21% for the
whole body. He noted, however, that the whole-body PPD rating
he assigned did not include the concussion that Hudson had
suffered, which was within the purview of another doctor.
was treated by a team led by Dr. Sarah Rockswold for the
traumatic brain injury, which included such symptoms as
photosensitivity and headaches. Based on Hudson's
recovery, she assigned a 0% PPD rating for the traumatic
brain injury, noting that a PPD rating for the psychological
injuries would need to be assigned later.
for the psychological injuries, Hudson was treated by Dr.
Jane Roskowski, a member of Dr. Rockswold's treatment
team. Dr. Roskowski diagnosed Hudson with an adjustment
disorder with mixed depression and anxiety, but was unable to
assign a PPD rating because their therapeutic relationship
ended before she could do so. Hudson also underwent
neuropsychological testing ...