By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville Happy New Year! It’s become tradition for me to kick things off with a recap of the previous year’s appellate cases. But first, another tradition: the disclaimer. Remember that I’m a staff attorney, and I’m not speaking on behalf of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. What follows is … Continue reading A Look Back at 2019 Appeals Board Opinions
On Monday, the Appeals Board released its opinion in Sharee Clay v. Signature Healthcare. The Board heard argument in the case on Oct. 1. It affirmed Judge Joshua Davis Baker's compensation hearing order. The case asked the Board to consider the trial court's decision to exclude Signature Healthcare's expert testimony as hearsay, finding that counsel … Continue reading Appeals Board issues opinion on competing experts
Today the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Appeals Board reversed a trial court order allowing an employee to have his own physician "present" by electronic means at an independent medical examination. Read the opinion here.
By Jane Salem, Staff Attorney, Nashville A pair of injured employees wants to have their physician “present” at an independent medical examination via videoconference or live-streaming. In one case, the judge allowed ordered that videoconferencing be arranged; in another case, a different judge declined to order it. Who got it right? The Tennessee Workers Compensation … Continue reading Appeals Board Considers Electronic “Presence” at Independent Medical Examinations
By Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville In the recent Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board decision Vickers v. Amazon.com, the Board observed that it is "unclear" why the email address to file a petition for benefit determination is that of the ombudsman program rather than the clerk of court, the customary recipient of a pleading. In … Continue reading Bureau Revises Petition for Benefit Determination
By Judge Brian Addington, Gray I went out for lunch the other day and heard an '80s song that I had not heard in years, Head to Toe, by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. That song really got in my head, and I came back to the office thinking about it. Eventually, it led me … Continue reading Rest in Peace, Scheduled Members
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville As every trial attorney knows, getting evidence in front of the judge, or keeping it out, can make the difference between winning and losing. With passage of the Reform Act came adherence to the Tennessee Rules of Evidence in the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. This was a significant … Continue reading Your Honor, The Evidence Will Show…
On October 1, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board will return to the Tennessee Supreme Court in Nashville to hear arguments in the following cases: Tennyson Order Compelling Deposition; Ailshie v. TN Farm Bureau Federation; Clay v. Signature Healthcare; and, Caldwell Order Compelling IME. Arguments begin at 9:00 a.m. Click here for more information.
By Judge Brian Addington, Kingsport It was 1751, and Francis Blandy was suspicious. As a loving father, Blandy suspected that Captain William Henry Cranstoun, his daughter's fiance, was already married. When Cranstoun left England to return to Scotland to have his previous marriage annulled, Blandy felt better about the situation. But as the months passed, … Continue reading Of love and other poisons
As the title explains, below is a guest submission. It is meant to inform and offer her interpretation of the law. By Allison Lowry At this year’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference, the Bureau celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the enactment of workers’ compensation laws in Tennessee. Among the numerous topics featured at the … Continue reading Guest Blogger: An Intro to Occupational Diseases
By Judge Brian Addington, Gray Well, we’re in summer now, and what time is it? Baseball time. By the way, I’m a Braves fan; isn’t everybody? There’s just something about baseball as the perfect way to get folks together on a hot summer evening. Speaking of baseball, playing it in college remains one of my … Continue reading Put Me in, Coach–I’m ready to play (Oh, Wait, I Can’t)
By Sarah Byrne, staff attorney, Nashville The Tennessee Supreme Court Special Workers’ Compensation Panel, Middle Section, heard arguments on March 25 in Corey Bunton v. Sanderson Pipe Corp., a willful misconduct case appealed from the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. From the employee-appellant’s perspective, the Bunton facts illustrate what the Mitchell dissent predicted: the four-factor … Continue reading Oral arguments revisit willful misconduct under Mitchell
By Judge Audrey Headrick, Chattanooga After reading Judge Brian Addington’s post about “The Lovable, Stubborn Mule,” I felt compelled to write about man’s best friend—dogs. I have to admit that I wasn’t always enamored with dogs. When I was a small child, I was bitten in an unprovoked attack by a bulldog. I thought I … Continue reading Who Let the Dogs Out?
By Judge Brian Addington, Gray When I was a little boy, we had a friend who owned a farm. We visited often because the farm was on our way to church. One day, the farmer asked my brother if he wanted to ride his mule. My brother agreed, so the farmer brought out the mule. … Continue reading The Loveable, Stubborn Mule
Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-207(3)(F) does not allow additional permanent partial disability benefits to undocumented workers. An injured worker challenged the law in the Court of Workers' Compensation Claims, but the trial court determined it had no authority to determine the facial constitutionality of a statute. Yesterday the Tennessee Supreme Court Special Workers' Compensation Appeals … Continue reading Panel upholds constitutionality of law foreclosing undocumented workers’ eligibility for increased PPD
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville Did the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board err by using the “meaningful return to work” analysis in determining the propriety of an award of permanent total disability benefits, when that analysis traditionally applies to permanent partial disability benefits? The Special Workers’ Compensation Panel of the Tennessee Supreme Court will … Continue reading Panel to clarify perm total analysis
Yesterday, the Tennessee Supreme Court affirmed an award of permanent partial disability benefits in Batey v. Deliver This, Inc. The high court reviewed an opinion from the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Appeals Board holding that the trial court erred when it held that the employee's "pre-injury occupation" on the Physician Certification Form to mean the employee’s … Continue reading Supreme Court adopts Appeals Board decision on permanent partial disability benefits
By Jane Salem, staff attorney, Nashville I recently wrote a three-part series on the Appeals Board’s work last year, briefly summarizing dozens of appellate opinions. In contrast, in 2018, the Tennessee Supreme Court Special Workers’ Compensation Panel decided just eight post-Reform Act cases, along with many more “old law” opinions. It’s likely that the “new … Continue reading Recapping the Supreme Court Panel Opinions 2018
By Jane Salem, Staff Attorney, Nashville Hello again. In the last post, I promised a discussion of 2018’s significant evidence opinions from the Appeals Board, along with civil procedure cases, and, well, everything else. Starting with evidence, a pair of cases discussed the admissibility of the C-32 Standard Form Medical Report. In Watson v. Catlett … Continue reading Still more Appeals Board Opinions from 2018
By Jane Salem, Staff Attorney, Nashville Welcome back to my recap of 2018 Appeals Board cases. In the last post, I highlighted some of the major opinions involving causation. In this edition, I’ll remind of the cases involving medical and disability benefits and defenses. Don’t forget to read the full-text of every case. I’ve given … Continue reading Revisiting the Appeals Board 2018 Opinions