October oral arguments announced

The Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board will hold oral arguments in four cases on Oct. 15, by phone or “other remote means” yet to be determined. Click here to see the docket.

The arguments kick off at 9:00 a.m. Central Time with a case from west Tennessee, Diamond v. Kroger Co. The case required the trial court to determine the reasonable necessity of several medications under an open medical benefits provision of a settled claim. Kroger contends the trial court erred in many respects, including which experts to credit and in the employee’s attorney’s fee award.

The second case, also originating from west Tennessee, is Hart v. Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corp. The employer asserts that the trial court erred in adopting an incorrect impairment rating, where the physician didn’t properly apply the Guides.

The next two cases on the docket are interlocutory orders; one deals with discovery, while the other excludes an expert’s testimony at trial.

In Bennett v. SureTech Construction, a case from East Tennessee, the employer requested that the injured worker undergo an independent medical examination in the Nashville area. The employee had moved to Maryland after the injury and asserted his injuries (paraplegia) made travel difficult, as did the pandemic. The trial court agreed, but the employer asserts this was error.

Finally, in Carter v. Ricoh Americas, the trial court in middle Tennessee excluded the employer from presenting its vocational expert at trial because its attorney did not comply with a deadline to disclose the witness. Among the employer’s arguments were that COVID-19 made it impossible to hire and conduct an in-person vocational evaluation.

Each argument typically lasts one hour. Afterward, this blog will recap the arguments’ highlights.

Good morning from East Tennessee. Photo by Kim Weaver, Legal Assistant, Knoxville.

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