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)

Appeals Board Issues Key Evidence Opinions Regarding Medical Records

By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville Within the past two weeks, the Appeals Board has made significant evidentiary rulings about the admissibility of Form C-32 and medical records. The opinions examined their admissibility at two different stages of the case, one at summary judgment and the other at an expedited hearing. The procedural posture makes … Continue reading Appeals Board Issues Key Evidence Opinions Regarding Medical Records

In Re Butter

By Judge Brian Addington, Gray I’ve met people who were astounded when I told them I’m a judge. Just the other day, my wife and I were eating lunch with a few other couples, including the daughter of a famous professional football player. She actually did a doubletake and said “No” twice when I told … Continue reading In Re Butter

Appeals Board Instructs on Parking Lot Cases

By Jane Salem, Staff Attorney, Nashville Last week, the Appeals Board released an opinion affirming a trial court’s denial of summary judgment. The ruling focused on whether the movant met its burden of production. But also, the Board’s opinion revisited a significant Supreme Court ruling about injuries in parking lots, concluding that the case remains … Continue reading Appeals Board Instructs on Parking Lot Cases

Credibility in the Time of Covid-19

By Judge Allen Phillips, Jackson “The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter.”--Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman philosopher (106-43 BC). The COVID-19 pandemic has changed human interaction in dramatic ways: working remotely, home-schooling, and limited or no in-person attendance in public forums. The judicial system is no exception. Nationwide, courts … Continue reading Credibility in the Time of Covid-19

2020 Supreme Court Panel Opinions in Review

By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville Thanks for reading this final installment of my three-part series on appellate opinions issued last year. As the title suggests, this article revisits decisions from Supreme Court Panels. Please read them; don’t rely just on my cursory analyses. Thanks. I’ll begin with a case from the Claims Commission. In … Continue reading 2020 Supreme Court Panel Opinions in Review

A Look Back at 2020 Appeals Board Opinions, part one

By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville What a year! The memes abound about 2020, most of which contain language or images unsuitable for this forum. (Here are a few from Reader’s Digest that are less likely to offend.) But regardless of last year’s tragedies, disruptions of our work and personal activities, and social and political … Continue reading A Look Back at 2020 Appeals Board Opinions, part one

It’s Time to Change

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

Board Modifies Rating to Reject Non-work-related Condition

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

Employer Can’t be Ordered to pay Attorney’s Fees on Unpaid Medicals

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

Board Clarifies Date of Injury in Mental Injury Claim for Jurisdictional Purposes

By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville Last week, the Appeals Board ruled on an issue of first impression that the date of injury in mental injury claims for jurisdictional purposes is the date of the identifiable work-related event or events resulting in a sudden or unusual stimulus. The ruling rejected an injured worker’s contention that … Continue reading Board Clarifies Date of Injury in Mental Injury Claim for Jurisdictional Purposes

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

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