Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law last month a bill revising the Workers’ Compensation Law. Click here to navigate to the full-text of Public Chapter No. 344, Senate Bill No. 325. In addition, a summary of the changes is available at the Bureau’s website.
Among its changes, of particular interest to workers’ compensation practitioners, is that now the Appeals Board may conduct oral arguments in expedited appeals. The law also extended the timeframe for the Appeals Board to release decisions. The judges now have 20 business days from receipt of the record on appeal or oral argument, whichever is later, to issue a decision.
In light of this new law, yesterday the Appeals Board announced an upcoming big day of oral arguments — four cases. The announcement is significant not only for the number and type of appeals to be argued, but also the location: The judges will hear arguments in Jackson for the first time.
On July 25, the Board will hear arguments exclusively of interlocutory, or temporary orders. First up will be Johnson v. Stanley Convergent Security Systems, where Judge Robert Durham, Cookeville, declined to grant summary judgment in the employer’s favor regarding whether the statute of limitations time-barred the claim. Second is Burleson v. Germantown Partners Supercuts, where Judge Amber Luttrell, Jackson, found the employee failed to prove a specific work incident resulting in his injury. Third is Betances v. Brock Services, LLC, in which Judge Allen Phillips, Jackson, granted temporary disability benefits. The fourth and final case is Taylor v. American Tire Distributors, another matter involving the trial court’s decision denying summary judgment regarding the statute of limitations. Judge Joshua Davis Baker, Nashville, decided the motion.
The oral arguments will take place at the Supreme Court Building. They begin at 9:00 a.m. Central.