Appeals Board to Hear Five Cases

The Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board will hear oral argument in five cases a week from today, on June 24, via videoconference.

First up at 9:00 a.m. Central Time will be Stephens v. Quality Private Care, dba Volunteer Staffing, Inc. The case raises several issues about the role of the Treatment Guidelines in determining medical necessity. After an expedited hearing, the trial court approved the recommended spinal cord stimulator trial despite the employee’s mental condition.

Next, in Kennard v. Midsouth Transportation Management, Inc., the parties and the Board will probe whether summary judgment was warranted in a case involving an assault that the employer contends was “an inherently private dispute imported into the employment setting.” The employee and her assailant, a co-worker, were friends before the attack, but she had rebuffed his romantic advances and alerted her employer that he was stalking her.

The morning’s session will conclude with Woodard v. Freeman Expositions, LLC. At issue is whether the trial court properly denied a request for temporary disability benefits due to the employee’s alleged misconduct regarding a failed drug test.

The afternoon’s arguments will begin at 12:30 p.m. with McGauvran v. Atos Syntel, Inc. The case involves an employee who became injured while vaping for the very first time on a break in the parking structure near his workplace. The trial court found the employee was likely to prevail at a hearing on the merits that the injury is compensable; did that ruling exceed the court’s authority?

Finally, counsel and the appellate court will discuss Walls v. United Technologies Corp., a case where the trial judge ordered treatment under the open medicals provision of a settlement that Utilization Review had noncertified twice. The judge also denied the employee’s request for an attorney’s fee. Both parties have appealed.

Oral arguments are open to the viewing public by logging in on the links in this hearing notice, but only the attorneys and the Appeals Board judges will be allowed to speak.

Photo by Kim Weaver, Legal Assistant, Knoxville.

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