October 16, 2019.
Closed December 20, 2019.
Below: Superior Court of the State of Delaware. C.A. No.
F. Schmittinger, Esquire, Candace E. Holmes, Esquire,
Schmittinger and Rodriguez, P.A., Dover, Delaware, for
Appellant Steven Powell.
M. Lukashunas, Esquire, Tybout, Redfearn & Pell, Wilmington,
Delaware for Appellee OTAC, Inc., d/b/a Hardee's.
SEITZ, Chief Justice, VALIHURA and TRAYNOR, Justices.
is an appeal of a March 5, 2019 decision by the Superior
Court affirming a decision by the Delaware Industrial
Accident Board (the " IAB" ) denying
claimant-appellant Steven Powell's (" Powell" )
petition for workers' compensation benefits. In his
petition, Powell alleged that he suffered a work injury on
December 11, 2016 while employed by OTAC, Inc. d/b/a
Hardee's (" Hardees" ). The IAB held a hearing
regarding Powell's petition on June 5, 2018. The IAB
heard testimony by deposition from a doctor on Powell's
behalf and from a doctor on Hardees' behalf. It also
heard live testimony from a Hardees General Manager and from
Powell himself. After the hearing, the IAB denied
Powell's petition, ruling that he had failed to establish
that he injured his rotator cuff while working at Hardees.
The IAB concluded that the testimony and evidence was "
insufficient to support a finding that Claimant's
injuries were causally related to his work for
[Hardees]."  Specifically, the IAB noted that both
Powell's " inability to report a specific day of
injury" as well as his " failure to seek medical
treatment immediately" after the alleged incident
detracted from his credibility. Further, it found that
although " both medical experts agreed that
[Powell's] treatment was reasonable for his rotator cuff
tear, there was insufficient evidence that the rotator cuff
tear occurred as the result of the alleged work
accident."  The Superior Court affirmed the
decision of the IAB.
raises two issues on appeal. First, he asserts that the Board
erred as a matter of law in denying his petition, and he
claims that he did present sufficient
evidence to demonstrate that his injuries occurred while
working at Hardees. Second, he asserts that the Superior
Court erred in affirming the IAB's decision and that it
exceeded the scope of review by making findings of fact
unsupported by the record below.
the reasons set forth below, we AFFIRM the decision of the
RELEVANT FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Hardees employed Powell as a back line cook for a time in
2016. His duties included cooking and handling boxes weighing
approximately twenty pounds.
November 4, 2016, Powell fell off of a curb outside his
sister's home and landed on his right shoulder. After he
fell, Powell sought treatment at the emergency room and had
an x-ray. Powell denied receiving any further treatment and