Pandemic order rescinded

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 Those orders are now rescinded, given the passage of Title 14, COVID-19, of the Tennessee Code.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.

In Re: Accurate, Quality Court Interpretation

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

Bureau Adopts new Teleheath Rules and Choice of Physicians Form

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

Board clarifies ‘incapacity for work’ in occupational disease cases

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

Medical case manager’s notes are discoverable

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

Attorneys Clash over Nurse Case Managers, occupational injuries

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

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