Bureau Announces Virtual Educational Conference

A while back, we announced with great disappointment that our annual educational conference was canceled. But now we have fantastic news: We’ve discovered a way to present a great conference without the worries of bringing 600-plus attendees together. We’ll be teaming with Select Medical to host a virtual conference. Save the dates–October 24-30–although it’s not … Continue reading Bureau Announces Virtual Educational Conference

A Few Thoughts on Non-Dispositive Motions

By Judge Pamela B. Johnson, Knoxville A few years ago, due to a significant increase in motion practice in the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims, we established rules for dispositive and non-dispositive motions to give practitioners some parameters. The rule’s latest iteration is Tennessee Compilation Rules and Regulations 0800-02-21-.18 (August, 2019), and it’s available here—just … Continue reading A Few Thoughts on Non-Dispositive Motions

Bureau Announces Judge Reappointments

Abbie Hudgens, Administrator of the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, announced today that she has reappointed seven judges to the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. They are: Kenneth Switzer, Chief Judge, Nashville Brian Addington, Gray Pamela Johnson, Knoxville Lisa Lowe, Knoxville Thomas Wyatt, Chattanooga Allen Phillips, Jackson Deana Seymour, Memphis. “One of the most significant … Continue reading Bureau Announces Judge Reappointments

Board Releases Opinion Allowing MIRR Evaluation to Proceed

By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville When a party requests an evaluation from the Bureau’s Medical Impairment Rating Registry, the opposing party can’t object on the basis that the party manufactured a dispute over the rating by hiring an expert to perform a records review. The Appeals Board announced this legal principle yesterday in Gray … Continue reading Board Releases Opinion Allowing MIRR Evaluation to Proceed

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?