Board Sets Oral Arguments in January

The Appeals Board will hear oral argument by videoconference in four cases on January 25, 2022.

Two of the cases involve compensation orders awarding permanent total disability, while the others are a summary judgment and an expedited hearing order.

In Braden v. Tomahawk Industries, Inc., the trial court found an injury compensable applying the direct and natural result rule and then granted perm total benefits. Tomahawk appealed on many grounds, including whether the judge should have excluded testimony from Braden’s vocational expert because he admitted destroying his handwritten notes.

In Lewallen v. Home Healthcare of East Tennessee, Inc., the trial judge awarded permanent total disability benefits. Home Healthcare appealed, asserting that although the employee can’t return to her past job as a certified nursing assistant, she can return to work in the open market, given that she can drive, walk her dog, cook and do household chores.

A partial grant of summary judgment will be reviewed in Love v. Love Management, Inc. The trial court granted Love’s motion regarding her employment status. The carrier appealed, arguing that the court erred by denying its motion to continue so it could engage in further discovery. It also asserts that material facts are disputed.

Finally, an expedited hearing order denying benefits will be considered in Tedford v. Energy Savers, LLC. The trial court found the employee to be a poor historian and that the experts’ opinions were unreliable because he had given them inaccurate information. The judge also found that Tedford didn’t prove his date of injury, so it was impossible to find that he filed his claim within the statute of limitations.

Anyone may observe oral arguments (but may not speak) by following the prompts on the docket; check the Appeals Board website for its upcoming publication.

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