We’re still proceeding with all scheduled telephone settlement approvals, today and tomorrow, despite the weather and closure of state offices.
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville Reportedly, I’m of Greek heritage. I don’t speak Greek, and I don’t know the Greek alphabet. But if it has the same number of letters as the English alphabet, we’ve at least reached the fifteenth letter. (Does that mean when we get to Zeta, the pandemic must be … Continue reading COVID, the Greek Alphabet, and Settlements
By Judge Lisa Lowe, Knoxville If you’re in need of a New Year’s resolution, here’s a great one to work on: managing your time in 2022. Of course we see many lawyers who are already very proficient in this realm. These are the ones who call on day 59 after a dispute certification notice has … Continue reading Deadlines matter
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 … Continue reading Board Sets Oral Arguments in January
We’ll be closed December 23, 24, 31, 2021, and January 3, 2022. But TNComp never takes a break; you may still file documents at any time. Happy holidays.
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville We’ve tried this once before. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is a well-known phrase. I thought, where did that phrase originate? It’s amazing how a search of this phrase is attributed to different people: Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland in 1314 (picture Mel … Continue reading Second Verse, Same as the First
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville It’s hard not to like Oprah Winfrey. She’s the fourth most admired woman in America and of course, a Tennessean. For decades now, she has annually created a list called “Oprah’s favorite things” recommending holiday gifts. She stole the name from The Sound of Music. So I think it’s … Continue reading A Staff Attorney’s Favorite Things
In 2020 and last May, the Chief Judge of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims issued orders regarding health and safety procedures for in-person hearings. Those orders are now rescinded, given the passage of Title 14, COVID-19, of the Tennessee Code. Please read the latest order.
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville The Bureau’s annual educational conference took place two weeks ago and always produces several hidden gems. One that I found most intriguing was the session on interpretation. Interpreters have become an important part of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims over the last seven years. During that time, … Continue reading In Re: Accurate, Quality Court Interpretation
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville On Monday, the Appeals Board affirmed a trial court opinion finding an employee credible and awarding benefits, despite inconsistencies in his accounts of how he became injured. The Board similarly rejected the contention that the employee gave an unreliable version of the work incident to a treating physician, so … Continue reading Board offers Guidance on Credibility
By Judge Dale Tipps, Murfreesboro Telehealth has officially arrived, with the adoption of new “Telehealth for Workers’ Compensation” rules. The rules may be found here. “Telehealth” means “the distribution of health-related services and information via electronic information and telecommunication technologies.” Telehealth, a/k/a telemedicine, has been around for a while, but its acceptance and use increased … Continue reading Bureau Adopts new Teleheath Rules and Choice of Physicians Form
Next week, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will host the 2021 Educational Conference in Murfreesboro. You may attend in-person November 1-3 or on demand starting November 15 through December 3. This year’s theme is “Be the Change.” It’s not too late to register. Next Tuesday will see the premiere of the Court of Workers’ Compensation … Continue reading We’ll see some of you next week
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville Last week, the Appeals Board released an opinion clarifying that an employee may file a petition for workers’ compensation medical benefits for an alleged occupational disease even if that worker has remained on the job full-time since the alleged date of injury. The opinion also reminds of key differences … Continue reading Board clarifies ‘incapacity for work’ in occupational disease cases
By Judge Brian Addington, Gray No, I’m not Lionel Richie. Just your local workers’ compensation judge. I used to see many of you often, when we had settlements in person, but we’ve had telephone settlements for over a year now. Which leads to me wonder why we still have problems connecting on the phone. Here … Continue reading Hello, Is it Me You’re Looking For?
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville Earlier this week, the Appeals Board affirmed a trial court order that a nurse case manager’s notes be provided to an injured worker, rejecting the employer’s arguments that the notes are protected by the common interest doctrine, attorney-client privilege, or the work product doctrine. The opinion also clarified the … Continue reading Medical case manager’s notes are discoverable
By Judge Brian Addington, Gray I’ve always liked golf, although I hardly ever play. When I became an attorney, I really tried to get into golf, thinking it would be a thing that an attorney would do with friends on a Friday afternoon. But I was wrong, at least for me. My grandparents on my … Continue reading Anything Can Happen
By Jane Salem staff, attorney, Nashville Is a nurse case manager the employer’s “eyes and ears,” so that discussions between the nurse case manager and the employer’s attorney are privileged? Is summary judgment appropriate in an occupational disease claim when the injured worker hasn’t missed work and has no restrictions? The Appeals Board will answer … Continue reading Attorneys Clash over Nurse Case Managers, occupational injuries
The Murfreesboro court (and offices) will be closed for renovations beginning in October. We anticipate the process will take about four months. During this time, all in-person hearings in Judge Tipps’ court will take place at the Rutherford County Courthouse, located at 116 West Lytle Street, Murfreesboro. Parties with cases pending will be notified in … Continue reading MURFREESBORO COURT TEMPORARILY RELOCATES
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