New Forms for Death Claims and Hearing Requests

By Judge Pamela B. Johnson, Knoxville Workplace accidents have consequences, which might range from a minor injury, to a catastrophic injury, or even death. In the first eight months of 2021, thirty-six employees have died in the workplace. When an employee’s death arises out of the employment, the claimants are entitled to varying death benefits … Continue reading New Forms for Death Claims and Hearing Requests

I’m Moving

By Judge Robert Durham, Cookeville I love old courthouses. Especially, old small-town courthouses.  Before I began working for the Bureau, I was privileged to practice all over the state, and I always got a thrill walking into one of those grand old buildings. I loved the musty smell of books and files and the hushed, … Continue reading I’m Moving

Board Affirms Opinion on Reasonable Necessity of Treatment (But Splits on Fees)

By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville On Friday, the Appeals Board released an opinion affirming a trial Court decision that a proposed treatment is reasonable and necessary when the treating physicians, who examined the injured worker, recommended it. The employer’s reliance on a utilization review opinion saying the employee was a “suboptimal candidate” for the … Continue reading Board Affirms Opinion on Reasonable Necessity of Treatment (But Splits on Fees)

Surprised by Hope

By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville “Surprised by Hope” is a book by well-known theologian, Tom Wright. An interesting read if you’re so inclined. I, too, am “surprised by hope”–the hope that someday soon we can get back to the normality of in-person settlements. That normality seems to be ever-moving forward, as the virus … Continue reading Surprised by Hope

MOST Unveils New Process for Possible Rule and Law Violations

By Brian Holmes, Director, Mediation and Ombudsman Services of Tennessee Being a workers’ compensation mediator is an extremely rewarding job. Mediators help employers, employees, and insurers resolve disputes that impact lives, businesses and careers. Mediators also confront a number of challenges. Of them, the most difficult might be balancing statutory roles while building cooperative, trusting … Continue reading MOST Unveils New Process for Possible Rule and Law Violations

Bureau Announces Return-to-Work Learning Opportunity

The Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will offer a free online training program beginning later this month to help employers develop or enhance the skills and knowledge to coordinate an employee’s return to employment after a work-related injury. The training is part of the Bureau’s newly developed Returning Employees to Work And Reducing Disabilities (REWARD) … Continue reading Bureau Announces Return-to-Work Learning Opportunity

Appeals Board Issues Key Evidence Opinions Regarding Medical Records

By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville Within the past two weeks, the Appeals Board has made significant evidentiary rulings about the admissibility of Form C-32 and medical records. The opinions examined their admissibility at two different stages of the case, one at summary judgment and the other at an expedited hearing. The procedural posture makes … Continue reading Appeals Board Issues Key Evidence Opinions Regarding Medical Records

Judicial Reappointments Announced

Abbie Hudgens, Administrator of the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, announced that she has reappointed four judges to the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. They are: Robert Durham, Cookeville; Audrey Headrick, Chattanooga; Amber Luttrell, Jackson; and Dale Tipps, Murfreesboro. “The judges on the Court of Workers’ Compensation play a pivotal role in providing parties with … Continue reading Judicial Reappointments Announced

Please Nominate a Deserving Candidate for Recognition

The Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is accepting nominations for the Third Annual Sue Ann Head Award for Excellence in Workers’ Compensation. Nominees must have been involved in the Tennessee workers’ compensation system for a minimum of five years in one of the following categories: employer or employer’s representative, employee representative, service provider, claims professional, … Continue reading Please Nominate a Deserving Candidate for Recognition

In Re Butter

By Judge Brian Addington, Gray I’ve met people who were astounded when I told them I’m a judge. Just the other day, my wife and I were eating lunch with a few other couples, including the daughter of a famous professional football player. She actually did a doubletake and said “No” twice when I told … Continue reading In Re Butter

Appeals Board Instructs on Parking Lot Cases

By Jane Salem, Staff Attorney, Nashville Last week, the Appeals Board released an opinion affirming a trial court’s denial of summary judgment. The ruling focused on whether the movant met its burden of production. But also, the Board’s opinion revisited a significant Supreme Court ruling about injuries in parking lots, concluding that the case remains … Continue reading Appeals Board Instructs on Parking Lot Cases