Telephonic settlement approvals to continue through July

While states and cities commence reopening at various paces, we have determined that we will continue conducting settlement approvals by telephone through July. By most accounts, the new, temporary process is working well and keeping everyone safe at the same time. We will reevaluate this decision in the coming weeks and let you know what … Continue reading Telephonic settlement approvals to continue through July

Workers’ Comp in the Bluegrass State

By Judge Robert V. Durham, Cookeville Back when the world was normal, I traveled to Kentucky to observe how its court conducted workers’ compensation hearings. While anyone who practices workers’ comp in Tennessee would have little difficulty getting up to speed on Kentucky law, they’d encounter several procedural differences that I found very interesting. To … Continue reading Workers’ Comp in the Bluegrass State

Board Reverses Causation Decision in Complex Occupational Disease Case

By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville Last week, the Appeals Board reversed a trial court determination finding medical causation in a case where the employee alleged liver, kidney and cardiac conditions as occupational diseases. According to the Board, the lower court should’ve accepted the employer’s experts’ opinions because they were better qualified and didn’t rely … Continue reading Board Reverses Causation Decision in Complex Occupational Disease Case

Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction Precludes an Election of Remedies

By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville The Supreme Court Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel revived a case earlier this week, holding that an injured worker didn’t elect to pursue his claim in Georgia when that state’s tribunal found he didn’t have subject matter jurisdiction. The ruling reinstates the decision of Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation … Continue reading Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction Precludes an Election of Remedies

Bureau Postpones/Cancels Conference

Unfortunately, the Bureau must postpone and possibly cancel our Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference that was scheduled for June 10-12 in Murfreesboro. The pandemic and associated Stay-at-Home/Work-at-Home guidance from the Governor’s office and the CDC will not allow us to go forward with the original dates. We’re currently polling our constituents to gauge their desire and … Continue reading Bureau Postpones/Cancels Conference

The Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims and Settlement Approvals–Optimistic but Cautious

By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville We are now completing our fifth week of all telephonic settlement approvals. As a previous post stated, the hearings are going very well. The Governor has now relaxed the stay-at-home directive. Attempts are being made to restart businesses and return to “normal” while keeping some common-sense restrictions in … Continue reading The Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims and Settlement Approvals–Optimistic but Cautious

Appeals Board reaffirms Direct and Natural Consequence Rule

By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville The Appeals Board released two opinions last Friday, deciding cases they heard at oral argument on March 24. In the first opinion, Hudgins v. Global Personnel Solutions, Natacha Hudgins injured her knee in 2016 while working at a battery manufacturing plant. Global, a temporary employment agency, accepted the claim … Continue reading Appeals Board reaffirms Direct and Natural Consequence Rule

Deadline extended for nominations for Sue Ann Head Award

The Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has extended the deadline for nominations for the Second Annual Sue Ann Head Award for Excellence in Workers’ Compensation. Nominations will now be accepted until Friday, May 29, 2020. To learn more about the award, click here to watch a video about last year’s winner. Nomination forms are available here. Questions … Continue reading Deadline extended for nominations for Sue Ann Head Award

Board Releases Opinion on Panels, Medical Causation

By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville The Appeals Board released another opinion from its March 24 oral arguments last week. Barnes v. Jack Cooper Transport, a review of an expedited hearing order, offers guidance on improper panels and medical causation. William Barnes, a truck driver, reported to Jack Cooper Transport that his left knee gave … Continue reading Board Releases Opinion on Panels, Medical Causation

How are we Doing?

By Chris Acuff, statistical research analyst As part of the Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims’ ongoing efforts to assess the hearing and settlement process, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will be distributing a brief online questionnaire that attorneys and self-represented parties should receive within the next few days. This survey is similar to the … Continue reading How are we Doing?

Board affirms in Ibarra v. Amazon Fulfillment Services

By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville Yesterday, the Appeals Board released its first opinion from the cases on oral argument last week. In Ibarra v. Amazon Fulfillment Services, the Board resolved three issues. The first was notice. The Workers’ Compensation Law requires written notice of a work-related injury unless an employer has actual notice. Amazon … Continue reading Board affirms in Ibarra v. Amazon Fulfillment Services

More oral arguments

By Jane Salem, staff atorney, Nashville Last Tuesday, the Appeals Board held telephonic oral arguments in six cases. I previously wrote about the morning cases. The following summarizes the afternoon’s cases, which all involved review of expedited hearings and medical causation issues. In Barnes v. Jack Cooper Transportation Co., the employer appealed an order for … Continue reading More oral arguments

Wanted: Your Input

By Abbie Hudgens, Administrator, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation “What is it that makes us trust our judges? Their independence in office and manner of appointment.” —John Marshall, fourth Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Unbelievably, six years have already passed since the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims opened its doors. The original eight judges … Continue reading Wanted: Your Input

The Show Must Go On

By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville The Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board held oral arguments by phone rather than the traditional in-person appearances on Tuesday. Counsel gave compelling arguments and withstood some fairly rigorous questioning from the judges, and decorum was maintained throughout, despite the unusual circumstances. What follows is a brief recap of the … Continue reading The Show Must Go On

Staying the Course

By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville We’re working remotely but still doing our best to provide top-notch customer service in line with the mission statement of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. Just yesterday, Governor Lee announced that state employees who are currently working from home should continue doing so through April 24. So … Continue reading Staying the Course