By Judge Robert Durham, Cookeville In this new world we have to share with COVID-19, many of our traditional ways of doing things have been challenged or even eliminated. One of those is in-person settlement approvals, which simply aren’t feasible while social-distancing. However, the Court’s duty remains to see that injured workers understand what their … Continue reading Phoning it in
By Penny Shrum, Court Clerk, Nashville Over the past six years, admittedly, a lot has changed in workers’ compensation in Tennessee. You have graciously adapted to these changes. We know change can be hard. But when faced with the prospect of change, we suggest you look to the wisdom of the Brady Bunch: “when it’s … Continue reading It’s Time to Change
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville When you grow up the daughter of an English teacher, alongside six siblings who all earned a degree in one form or another in English … well, you become a grammar nerd, whether or not you like it. If my older brother, the retired college English professor, saw what … Continue reading Let’s Banish Some Words
The Appeals Board will hold oral arguments in four cases on Thursday, Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, 2021, by videoconference. Three cases will be heard on Jan. 28. First, in Tate v. Doney, d/b/a Middle Tennessee Respiratory, after an expedited hearing, the trial court ordered the employer to authorize treatment with a physician of the … Continue reading Appeals Board Announces 2021 Oral Arguments
Due to the Nashville bombing of AT&T technical equipment location, normal telephone service for settlement approvals has been interrupted. PLEASE NOTE THE SETTLEMENT CALL-IN NUMBERS FOR THIS WEEK ONLY FOR THE NASHVILE JUDGES: Judge Josh Baker – 423-634-0163 Chief Judge Kenneth Switzer – 855-543-5041 All attorneys with approvals this week must contact the injured workers … Continue reading ALERT!
We'll continue the revised procedure for everyone's safety and reevaluate around St. Paddy's Day.
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville Today is the first day of winter, and just a few days remain in the year. Much has been said about 2020, and understandably the theme overall has ranged from disappointment to sorrow. It’s been a year for reflection and reevaluating priorities. As a Court, we strived … Continue reading Looking Back on 2020
By Judge Joshua Davis Baker, Nashville Today marks an important milestone in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, as vaccinations are now available to some. This is encouraging news; yet, we still have a long way to go before the world returns to “normal.” We’re all familiar with the physical health … Continue reading Take care of Yourselves and Others
By Judge Brian Addngton, Gray If you’re Gen X or older, you likely remember the Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup commercial’s famous line, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.” Judge Brian Addington The actor in that commercial was Peter Bergman, who played Dr. Cliff Warner on “All My Children,” an ABC … Continue reading “I Play One on TV”
It's that time again: time for holiday cheer and settling cases before the New Year. To better serve you and your clients during this busy season, Judges Luttrell and Phillips of the Jackson office are expanding their settlement approval hearing days to any weekday in the month of December. To request a December approval hearing, … Continue reading Jackson Office Expands Settlement Approval Days
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville A trial court can’t award permanent partial disability benefits for an impairment rating where part of that rating is attributable to a non-work-related condition. So held the Appeals Board last week, modifying the trial court’s order to reflect a lower rating. The case was argued last month. In Hart … Continue reading Board Modifies Rating to Reject Non-work-related Condition
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville Last week, the Appeals Board held that, under section 50-6-226(a)(1), an employer can't be liable for attorney’s fees based on the amount of medical expenses a court orders it to pay. In September 2016, Nicole Bowlin was injured in a motor vehicle accident while working for Servall. She was … Continue reading Employer Can’t be Ordered to pay Attorney’s Fees on Unpaid Medicals
By Judge Brian Addington, Gray It was a pleasure to host Girl Scout Troop 320 at the Bureau's office in Gray on Nov. 13. Seven scouts attended along with one supportive brother and six parents. I gave them a tour of the Courtroom and the mediation offices, making sure to follow social-distancing guidelines. The topic … Continue reading Gray Hosts Girls Scouts
By Hon. David Langham, Deputy Chief Judge, Florida Office of Judges of Compensation Claims, Pensacola Blog administrator’s note: All judges of the Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims are active members of the National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary, and all have benefitted from attending the association’s educational programming at one time or another. This … Continue reading The History of the Judicial Code of Ethics
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville Earlier this week, the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board affirmed a pair of trial court rulings about an employer’s right to a medical examination and the exclusion of expert testimony when an attorney didn’t comply with a scheduling deadline. The Board held oral argument in both cases last month. … Continue reading Appeals Board Releases Two Opinions from October Oral Arguments
It's been over six months now since we've made the change to allow for all settlement approval hearings to occur by phone, for everyone's health and safety. Looking ahead, at least for the next two months, the altered procedure will remain in place. We'll revisit this for 2021 in mid-December. Please be careful. Percy Warner … Continue reading Telephone Approvals to remain for the rest of the year
The Bureau will be closed the following dates: Wednesday, November 11; Thursday and Friday, November 26-27; Thursday and Friday, December 24-25; Thursday and Friday, December 31-January 1, 2021; Monday, January 18; and Monday, February 15. Also, no settlement approval hearings will take place on Thursday and Friday, January 28-29, due to a Judicial Conference. Photo … Continue reading Take note of Bureau closures
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville The Appeals Board held oral arguments yesterday by videoconference on the topics of an employee’s proper impairment rating, an employer’s right to a medical examination, and whether a court properly ruled that a party should be prohibited from introducing expert testimony at trial. First up was Hart v. ThyssenKrupp … Continue reading Board holds oral arguments in three cases
We’re glad you asked! First, on Monday, new rules became effective that govern the appeals process for both interlocutory appeals and compensation order appeals. They are available here. The rules didn't revise any deadlines or make other significant substantive changes, but they now incorporate the Board’s former Practices and Procedures into the administrative rules. Second, … Continue reading What’s New at the Appeals Board?
By James Hicks, ombudsman attorney, Nashville Over the past three years (has it really been that long?), I have been honored to serve as an ombudsman attorney for the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. My days are spent explaining legal concepts and court procedure to self-represented litigants. It is almost always the case that the people … Continue reading Bureau announces new resource for pro se litigants