Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Workers' Compensation Opinions

Format: 12/10/2019
Format: 12/10/2019
Joyce Jones v. New York Underwriters
03S01-9505-CH-00050
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Plaintiff alleged injury to her back and neck at work. The trial judge awarded her 15 percent permanent partial disability to the body as a whole. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. Plaintiff was working for at Arcata Graphics on March 17, 1992 when her right index finger was caught in a re-press roller. She tried to jerk her finger out of the roller, fearing her whole hand and arm would be caught, and her supervisor pushed her back from the machine while trying to turn the machine off. She was treated in the emergency room and subsequently referred to Dr. James Phillips, orthopedic surgeon. She received anti-inflammatory medication and underwent physical therapy. Two weeks later she began experiencing increasing pain, "moving up her arm and in her shoulder and neck area," and still later she began having severe headaches on the right side of her head. Dr. Gregory Corradino, a neurologist, began treating plaintiff in late 1993 and performed surgery on her cervical spine. When deposed, Dr. Phillips opined that if plaintiff's finger crush injury were accompanied by a jerking maneuver, it could have caused her disc rupture, and that this possible causal connection would be strengthened if surgery resolved her complaints. Dr. Gregory Corradino found that plaintiff had a herniated cervical disc at C4/5 and performed surgical removal of the disc. W hen asked whether the disc herniation had been caused by plaintiff's jerking her finger out of the press at work, he opined that such motion could cause a disc herniation. Dr. John Marshall, physiatrist, evaluated plaintiff for defendant and treated her for nine months. He opined that although the jerking motion could herniate a disc, he did not think that it had done so in this case. Plaintiff testified that she jerked her head and neck hard to remove her finger from the press. She further said that prior to the injury at Arcata Graphics, she had
Authoring Judge: Senior Judge John K. Byers
Originating Judge: Hon. Richard E. Ladd
Knox County Workers Compensation Panel 07/30/96
Vickie Winningham v. Masters Health Care Center
01S01-9510-CV-00177
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employer, Masters Health Care Center, contends (1) that the evidence preponderates against the trial judge's finding that the claimant suffered any permanent partial disability from her injury, and (2) that the evidence preponderates against an award of fifty- five percent to the body as a whole. The panel concludes the judgment of the trial court should be modified as provided herein. The claimant, Vickie Winningham, is thirty-nine years old and a high school graduate. She has experience in a variety of unskilled jobs and has worked for this employer since April of 1989 as a nursing assistant. On October 27, 1991, she strained her back while lifting and turning a patient. She went first to Dr. Lloyd Hassler, who prescribed physical therapy. The claimant was referred by a representative of Crawford and Company to three physicians, Dr. James Talmadge, Dr. Arthur Gernt Bond and Dr. Michael Moore. All three testified at the trial by deposition. All three of them found her to be deconditioned from smoking and being overweight. She is five feet, three inches tall and weighs approximately two hundred fifty pounds. Dr. Talmadge diagnosed mild low back strain, symptom magnification and incontinence. Only the back sprain was, according to his testimony, causally related to the injury at work. He estimated her permanent impairment from the injury at none. Dr. Bond's diagnosis was essentially the same, except that he diagnosed degenerative changes unrelated to the injury at work. He agreed that the claimant is not permanently impaired as a result of any work related injury. Dr. Moore diagnosed mechanical low back syndrome and symptom magnification. He assessed her permanent impairment at seven percent to the whole body using the third edition of American Medical Association guidelines and at five percent using the fourth edition, from her injury. The claimant returned to work for two and one-half days, then quit, because of discomfort. She has not looked for other work, but acknowledged that she is able to work and her intent to do so when her claim is finally resolved. She can walk for thirty minutes, but has gained fifty pounds. 2
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Originating Judge: Hon. John Turnbull,
Putnam County Workers Compensation Panel 07/24/96
Vickie Winningham v. Masters Health Care Center
01S01-9510-CV-00177
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employer, Masters Health Care Center, contends (1) that the evidence preponderates against the trial judge's finding that the claimant suffered any permanent partial disability from her injury, and (2) that the evidence preponderates against an award of fifty- five percent to the body as a whole. The panel concludes the judgment of the trial court should be modified as provided herein. The claimant, Vickie Winningham, is thirty-nine years old and a high school graduate. She has experience in a variety of unskilled jobs and has worked for this employer since April of 1989 as a nursing assistant. On October 27, 1991, she strained her back while lifting and turning a patient. She went first to Dr. Lloyd Hassler, who prescribed physical therapy. The claimant was referred by a representative of Crawford and Company to three physicians, Dr. James Talmadge, Dr. Arthur Gernt Bond and Dr. Michael Moore. All three testified at the trial by deposition. All three of them found her to be deconditioned from smoking and being overweight. She is five feet, three inches tall and weighs approximately two hundred fifty pounds. Dr. Talmadge diagnosed mild low back strain, symptom magnification and incontinence. Only the back sprain was, according to his testimony, causally related to the injury at work. He estimated her permanent impairment from the injury at none. Dr. Bond's diagnosis was essentially the same, except that he diagnosed degenerative changes unrelated to the injury at work. He agreed that the claimant is not permanently impaired as a result of any work related injury. Dr. Moore diagnosed mechanical low back syndrome and symptom magnification. He assessed her permanent impairment at seven percent to the whole body using the third edition of American Medical Association guidelines and at five percent using the fourth edition, from her injury. The claimant returned to work for two and one-half days, then quit, because of discomfort. She has not looked for other work, but acknowledged that she is able to work and her intent to do so when her claim is finally resolved. She can walk for thirty minutes, but has gained fifty pounds. 2
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Originating Judge: Hon. John Turnbull,
Putnam County Workers Compensation Panel 07/24/96
Thomas E. Roddy v. Beaman Bottling Company
01S01-9511-CH-00194
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special 1 Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Defendant, Beaman Bottling Company of Nashville, had appealed from the action of the trial court in awarding plaintiff, Thomas E. Roddy, 33% permanent partial disability to the body as a whole. On November 12, 1992, plaintiff was injured during the course and scope of his employment with the defendant. After having surgery for a rotator cuff injury, he returned to work on about August 1, 1993, at a wage equal to or greater than that he was receiving prior to his injury. In the spring of 1994, defendant company was sold to Pepsico, the parent company for Pepsi-Cola. Plaintiff continued to work for new owner Pepsico until September 9, 1994, when his job classification was eliminated and he was terminated. There is some dispute concerning the medical impairment to the body as a whole. At issue is whether plaintiff sustained a 7% or 11 % impairment to the body as a whole. We conclude that the finding of 11% impairment to the whole body is the proper finding of medical impairment. The primary issue is whether the award of disability is limited to two and a half times the medical impairment rating provided in TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6- 241(a)(1) or whether the award may be fixed up to six times the medical impairment rating as provided in TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-241(b). Under subsection (a)(1), an injured employee's recovery is limited to two and a half times the employee's medical impairment rating if the pre-injury employer returns the employee to work at a wage equal to or greater than that received prior to the injury. Subsection (a)(2) provides that the industrial disability award may be reconsidered by the court when the employee is no longer employed by the pre- injury employer, the loss of employment occurs within 4 weeks of the day the employee returned to work, and a new cause of action is filed within one year of the 2
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Originating Judge: Hon. Don R. Ash,
Rutherford County Workers Compensation Panel 07/24/96
Thomas E. Roddy v. Beaman Bottling Company
01S01-9511-CH-00194
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special 1 Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Defendant, Beaman Bottling Company of Nashville, had appealed from the action of the trial court in awarding plaintiff, Thomas E. Roddy, 33% permanent partial disability to the body as a whole. On November 12, 1992, plaintiff was injured during the course and scope of his employment with the defendant. After having surgery for a rotator cuff injury, he returned to work on about August 1, 1993, at a wage equal to or greater than that he was receiving prior to his injury. In the spring of 1994, defendant company was sold to Pepsico, the parent company for Pepsi-Cola. Plaintiff continued to work for new owner Pepsico until September 9, 1994, when his job classification was eliminated and he was terminated. There is some dispute concerning the medical impairment to the body as a whole. At issue is whether plaintiff sustained a 7% or 11 % impairment to the body as a whole. We conclude that the finding of 11% impairment to the whole body is the proper finding of medical impairment. The primary issue is whether the award of disability is limited to two and a half times the medical impairment rating provided in TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6- 241(a)(1) or whether the award may be fixed up to six times the medical impairment rating as provided in TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-241(b). Under subsection (a)(1), an injured employee's recovery is limited to two and a half times the employee's medical impairment rating if the pre-injury employer returns the employee to work at a wage equal to or greater than that received prior to the injury. Subsection (a)(2) provides that the industrial disability award may be reconsidered by the court when the employee is no longer employed by the pre- injury employer, the loss of employment occurs within 4 weeks of the day the employee returned to work, and a new cause of action is filed within one year of the 2
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Originating Judge: Hon. Don R. Ash,
Rutherford County Workers Compensation Panel 07/24/96
Thomas E. Roddy v. Beaman Bottling Company
01S01-9511-CH-00194
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special 1 Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Defendant, Beaman Bottling Company of Nashville, had appealed from the action of the trial court in awarding plaintiff, Thomas E. Roddy, 33% permanent partial disability to the body as a whole. On November 12, 1992, plaintiff was injured during the course and scope of his employment with the defendant. After having surgery for a rotator cuff injury, he returned to work on about August 1, 1993, at a wage equal to or greater than that he was receiving prior to his injury. In the spring of 1994, defendant company was sold to Pepsico, the parent company for Pepsi-Cola. Plaintiff continued to work for new owner Pepsico until September 9, 1994, when his job classification was eliminated and he was terminated. There is some dispute concerning the medical impairment to the body as a whole. At issue is whether plaintiff sustained a 7% or 11 % impairment to the body as a whole. We conclude that the finding of 11% impairment to the whole body is the proper finding of medical impairment. The primary issue is whether the award of disability is limited to two and a half times the medical impairment rating provided in TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6- 241(a)(1) or whether the award may be fixed up to six times the medical impairment rating as provided in TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-241(b). Under subsection (a)(1), an injured employee's recovery is limited to two and a half times the employee's medical impairment rating if the pre-injury employer returns the employee to work at a wage equal to or greater than that received prior to the injury. Subsection (a)(2) provides that the industrial disability award may be reconsidered by the court when the employee is no longer employed by the pre- injury employer, the loss of employment occurs within 4 weeks of the day the employee returned to work, and a new cause of action is filed within one year of the 2
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Originating Judge: Hon. Don R. Ash,
Rutherford County Workers Compensation Panel 07/24/96
Bill Purcell v. The Lilly Company and Federated Insurance Company
02S01-9508-CV-00073
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employee or claimant, Purcell, contends that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's findings (1) that he did not have a reasonable excuse for failure to give the written notice required by Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-21 and (2) that there was insufficient proof of a causal connection between his injury and a work- related accident. The panel has concluded that the judgment should be affirmed. The claimant worked for the employer, The Lilly Company, as a field service battery technician, replacing or servicing heavy duty batteries. In November of 1992, during a week-long trip servicing customers in the Tupelo, Mississippi area, he awoke with pain in his right buttock and leg. The pain subsided after about half an hour. The claimant later was diagnosed with a ruptured disk. There is no evidence that the pain was precipitated by any particular fortuitous occurrence, but the claimant's own testimony was that "I thought maybe I just bumped myself on some equipment the day before at the customer's location...." He told his supervisorabout the pain but gave no written notice and said nothing about his thought concerning the source of it. In fact, he filed a claim with his health insurance carrier on January 27, 1993, claiming that the injury was work-related, although he had never made such a claim to the employer. It was also during that month that his doctors had told him his injury could be work-related. He had been terminated by the employer on January 15, 1993, and had consulted an attorney,because he suspected he had a workers'compensation claim. The employer did not know of any claim that the injury was work-related until April 8, 1993, when it received written notice, dated two days earlier, from the claimant's attorney. The trial judge dismissed the case for failure of notice, or a reasonable excuse for such failure, and because the proof failed to establish that the claimant's injury was one arising out of and in the course of the employment. Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). Immediately upon the occurrence of an injury, or as soon thereafter as is reasonable and practicable, an injured employee must, unless the employer 2
Authoring Judge: Joe C. Loser, Jr., Special Judge
Originating Judge: Hon. George H. Brown, Jr.,
Shelby County Workers Compensation Panel 07/22/96
Bill Purcell v. The Lilly Company and Federated Insurance Company
02S01-9508-CV-00073
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employee or claimant, Purcell, contends that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's findings (1) that he did not have a reasonable excuse for failure to give the written notice required by Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-21 and (2) that there was insufficient proof of a causal connection between his injury and a work- related accident. The panel has concluded that the judgment should be affirmed. The claimant worked for the employer, The Lilly Company, as a field service battery technician, replacing or servicing heavy duty batteries. In November of 1992, during a week-long trip servicing customers in the Tupelo, Mississippi area, he awoke with pain in his right buttock and leg. The pain subsided after about half an hour. The claimant later was diagnosed with a ruptured disk. There is no evidence that the pain was precipitated by any particular fortuitous occurrence, but the claimant's own testimony was that "I thought maybe I just bumped myself on some equipment the day before at the customer's location...." He told his supervisorabout the pain but gave no written notice and said nothing about his thought concerning the source of it. In fact, he filed a claim with his health insurance carrier on January 27, 1993, claiming that the injury was work-related, although he had never made such a claim to the employer. It was also during that month that his doctors had told him his injury could be work-related. He had been terminated by the employer on January 15, 1993, and had consulted an attorney,because he suspected he had a workers'compensation claim. The employer did not know of any claim that the injury was work-related until April 8, 1993, when it received written notice, dated two days earlier, from the claimant's attorney. The trial judge dismissed the case for failure of notice, or a reasonable excuse for such failure, and because the proof failed to establish that the claimant's injury was one arising out of and in the course of the employment. Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). Immediately upon the occurrence of an injury, or as soon thereafter as is reasonable and practicable, an injured employee must, unless the employer 2
Authoring Judge: Joe C. Loser, Jr., Special Judge
Originating Judge: Hon. George H. Brown, Jr.,
Shelby County Workers Compensation Panel 07/22/96
Cecelia Teague v. Tecumseh Products Company
02S01-9509-CV-00081
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. _ 5-6-225 (e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Employer appeals from an award by the trial court of thirty percent (3%) permanent partial disability to both upper extremities of employee. Findings of Fact Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of the correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. _ 5-6-225 (e)(2). There were no written findings of fact by the trial court. The statement of evidence contained no findings stated by the trial court at trial, and the transcript contains no written findings of fact, other than a finding of permanent partial disability of thirty percent to both upper extremities. This tribunal is required to conduct an independent examination of the record to determine where the preponderance of the evidence lies.
Authoring Judge: Joe H. Walker, III, Judge
Originating Judge: Hon. Julian P. Guinn,
Henry County Workers Compensation Panel 07/15/96
Cecelia Teague v. Tecumseh Products Company
02S01-9509-CV-00081
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. _ 5-6-225 (e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Employer appeals from an award by the trial court of thirty percent (3%) permanent partial disability to both upper extremities of employee. Findings of Fact Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of the correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. _ 5-6-225 (e)(2). There were no written findings of fact by the trial court. The statement of evidence contained no findings stated by the trial court at trial, and the transcript contains no written findings of fact, other than a finding of permanent partial disability of thirty percent to both upper extremities. This tribunal is required to conduct an independent examination of the record to determine where the preponderance of the evidence lies.
Authoring Judge: Joe H. Walker, III, Judge
Originating Judge: Hon. Julian P. Guinn,
Henry County Workers Compensation Panel 07/15/96
Lamonte Pearson v. Day International, Inc, d/b/a Colonial Rubber Works, Inc. and Reliance Insurance Company
02S01-9503-CV-00023
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Worker's Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. _ 5-6- 225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The sole issue for review is the trial court's determination that an amended complaint filed against the Second Injury Fund was barred by the statute of limitations. For the following reasons, we affirm the decision of the trial court. On January 26, 1989, Lamonte Pearson ("Mr. Pearson") injured his back in an automobile accident that was not work related. Mr. Pearson's lawsuit was apparently unsuccessful at trial and no damages were awarded. On March 4, 1991, he again injured his back in the course of his employment with Day International, d/b/a Colonial Rubber Works, Inc. and was treated by the same physician. A complaint for worker's compensation benefits was timely filed on April 15, 1991. The complaint alleged that Mr. Pearson "suffered, and will continue to suffer, temporary total, temporary partial and possibly permanent total disability as a result of this work related injury." His prayer for relief requested an award of "such further temporary total, temporary partial, permanent partial, or permanent total disability and medical expenses to which this Court finds him entitled . . ." A motion to amend the complaint was filed on April 24, 1992, and leave to amend was granted on the same date. An amended complaint adding the Second Injury Fund was filed on May 29, 1992, more than one (1) year after the work related injury. The amended complaint further alleges that Mr. Pearson had previously sustained a permanent physical disability capable of supporting a workers' compensation award if it had arisen out of and in the course of employment and that he had become permanently and totally disabled through the subsequent work related injury. The Second Injury Fund asserted the bar of the statute of limitations. During his deposition in this case, Mr. Pearson's treating physician found him to have a permanent partial disability of 9% to the body as a whole as a result of the non-work related incident and 6% to the body as a whole as a result of the work related incident, or a 12% combined impairment rating under the AMA Guidelines. The trial court found Mr. Pearson to be 1% disabled and apportioned 45% of the award to Colonial and 55% to the Second Injury Fund; the court ruled that recovery against the Second 2
Authoring Judge: Janice M. Holder, Special Judge
Originating Judge: Hon. J. Steven Stafford, Judge
Dyer County Workers Compensation Panel 07/11/96
Lamonte Pearson v. Day International, Inc, d/b/a Colonial Rubber Works, Inc. and Reliance Insurance Company
02S01-9503-CV-00023
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Worker's Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. _ 5-6- 225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The sole issue for review is the trial court's determination that an amended complaint filed against the Second Injury Fund was barred by the statute of limitations. For the following reasons, we affirm the decision of the trial court. On January 26, 1989, Lamonte Pearson ("Mr. Pearson") injured his back in an automobile accident that was not work related. Mr. Pearson's lawsuit was apparently unsuccessful at trial and no damages were awarded. On March 4, 1991, he again injured his back in the course of his employment with Day International, d/b/a Colonial Rubber Works, Inc. and was treated by the same physician. A complaint for worker's compensation benefits was timely filed on April 15, 1991. The complaint alleged that Mr. Pearson "suffered, and will continue to suffer, temporary total, temporary partial and possibly permanent total disability as a result of this work related injury." His prayer for relief requested an award of "such further temporary total, temporary partial, permanent partial, or permanent total disability and medical expenses to which this Court finds him entitled . . ." A motion to amend the complaint was filed on April 24, 1992, and leave to amend was granted on the same date. An amended complaint adding the Second Injury Fund was filed on May 29, 1992, more than one (1) year after the work related injury. The amended complaint further alleges that Mr. Pearson had previously sustained a permanent physical disability capable of supporting a workers' compensation award if it had arisen out of and in the course of employment and that he had become permanently and totally disabled through the subsequent work related injury. The Second Injury Fund asserted the bar of the statute of limitations. During his deposition in this case, Mr. Pearson's treating physician found him to have a permanent partial disability of 9% to the body as a whole as a result of the non-work related incident and 6% to the body as a whole as a result of the work related incident, or a 12% combined impairment rating under the AMA Guidelines. The trial court found Mr. Pearson to be 1% disabled and apportioned 45% of the award to Colonial and 55% to the Second Injury Fund; the court ruled that recovery against the Second 2
Authoring Judge: Janice M. Holder, Special Judge
Originating Judge: Hon. J. Steven Stafford, Judge
Dyer County Workers Compensation Panel 07/11/96
Billy Clevinger v. Burlington Motor Carriers, Inc.
03S01-9508-CV-00092
This workers' compensation appeal from the Hawkins County Circuit Court has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 5-6-225(e) (3) (1995 Supp.) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. I. The plaintiff, Billy Clevinger ("employee"), is a resident of Hawkins County, Tennessee. The defendant, Burlington Motor Carriers, Inc., ("employer"), is a trucking company with its principal place of business in Indiana. The employee, who was hired in Tennessee, worked for the employer as truck driver. On December 1, 1993, the employee was driving one of the employer's trucks from Kentucky to Arkansas. While traveling through Tennessee on the way to Arkansas, he was involved in a single vehicle accident. The employee was hospitalized for a short time due to injuries sustained in the accident. He then returned to his home in Hawkins County. On December 28, 1993, the employee signed a document sent to him by the employer's claim adjustor entitled "Agreement to Compensation of Employee and Employer." The form contained the heading "Indiana Workers' Compensation Board, . . . Indianapolis, Indiana." The document included information concerning the date of injury, the type of injury (bruised left arm and strain of lower back), the place of injury, the employee's average weekly wage, and the amount the employee would be receiving as temporary total disability. The form also contained the declaration that " [w]e (employee and employer) have reached an agreement in regards to compensation for the injury sustained by said employee . . . ." The form further indicated that the "terms of the agreement . . . shall be payable . . . until terminated in accordance with the provisions of the Indiana Workers' Compensation/Occupational Diseases Acts." The employee 2
Authoring Judge: Penny J. White, Justice
Originating Judge: Hon. Ben K.
Hawkins County Workers Compensation Panel 07/10/96
Billy Clevinger v. Burlington Motor Carriers, Inc.
03S01-9508-CV-00092
This workers' compensation appeal from the Hawkins County Circuit Court has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 5-6-225(e) (3) (1995 Supp.) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. I. The plaintiff, Billy Clevinger ("employee"), is a resident of Hawkins County, Tennessee. The defendant, Burlington Motor Carriers, Inc., ("employer"), is a trucking company with its principal place of business in Indiana. The employee, who was hired in Tennessee, worked for the employer as truck driver. On December 1, 1993, the employee was driving one of the employer's trucks from Kentucky to Arkansas. While traveling through Tennessee on the way to Arkansas, he was involved in a single vehicle accident. The employee was hospitalized for a short time due to injuries sustained in the accident. He then returned to his home in Hawkins County. On December 28, 1993, the employee signed a document sent to him by the employer's claim adjustor entitled "Agreement to Compensation of Employee and Employer." The form contained the heading "Indiana Workers' Compensation Board, . . . Indianapolis, Indiana." The document included information concerning the date of injury, the type of injury (bruised left arm and strain of lower back), the place of injury, the employee's average weekly wage, and the amount the employee would be receiving as temporary total disability. The form also contained the declaration that " [w]e (employee and employer) have reached an agreement in regards to compensation for the injury sustained by said employee . . . ." The form further indicated that the "terms of the agreement . . . shall be payable . . . until terminated in accordance with the provisions of the Indiana Workers' Compensation/Occupational Diseases Acts." The employee 2
Authoring Judge: Penny J. White, Justice
Originating Judge: Hon. Ben K. Wexler
Hawkins County Workers Compensation Panel 07/10/96
Robin Sloan v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.
01S01-9509-GS-00157
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employer contends that the award of disability benefits is excessive; and the employee contends the trial court erred in finding that she did not suffer a disabling work-related neck injury. The panel has concluded that the judgment should be modified as provided herein. On July 5, 1992, the claimant, Robin Sloan, strained her back at work. She reported the injury to her employer and was referred to Dr. G. Jackson Jacobs, who referred her to Dr. David Bratton, an orthopedic surgeon, who, on July 15, 1992, diagnosed lumbar strain and released her to light duty for two weeks. She saw Dr. Daniel Phillips on October 23, 1992 and two other occasions. Dr. Phillips found no permanent disability to the claimant's back or neck caused by a work-related injury. Her attorney referred her to Dr. Richard Fishbein. Dr. Fishbein, on the strength of the history related to him by the claimant, agreed with the original diagnosis and assessed a permanent impairment of five percent to the whole body. The claimant is thirty-four years old witha high school educationand an associates degree in education from Motlow State Community College. She has experience in office work, as a restaurant manager and in business. She quit working for the employer shortly after the accident and was not working at the time of the trial. She was able to work, according to Dr. Bratton's note on and after July 15, 1992. The trial judge awarded permanent partial disability benefits on the basis of thirty-five percent to the body as a whole and temporary total disability benefits from July 5, 1992 to January 7, 1993. Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). This tribunal is required to conduct an independent examination of the record to determine where the preponderance of the evidence lies.
Authoring Judge: Joe C. Loser, Jr., Special Judge
Originating Judge: Hon. Barry Medley,
Warren County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Robin Sloan v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.
01S01-9509-GS-00157
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employer contends that the award of disability benefits is excessive; and the employee contends the trial court erred in finding that she did not suffer a disabling work-related neck injury. The panel has concluded that the judgment should be modified as provided herein. On July 5, 1992, the claimant, Robin Sloan, strained her back at work. She reported the injury to her employer and was referred to Dr. G. Jackson Jacobs, who referred her to Dr. David Bratton, an orthopedic surgeon, who, on July 15, 1992, diagnosed lumbar strain and released her to light duty for two weeks. She saw Dr. Daniel Phillips on October 23, 1992 and two other occasions. Dr. Phillips found no permanent disability to the claimant's back or neck caused by a work-related injury. Her attorney referred her to Dr. Richard Fishbein. Dr. Fishbein, on the strength of the history related to him by the claimant, agreed with the original diagnosis and assessed a permanent impairment of five percent to the whole body. The claimant is thirty-four years old witha high school educationand an associates degree in education from Motlow State Community College. She has experience in office work, as a restaurant manager and in business. She quit working for the employer shortly after the accident and was not working at the time of the trial. She was able to work, according to Dr. Bratton's note on and after July 15, 1992. The trial judge awarded permanent partial disability benefits on the basis of thirty-five percent to the body as a whole and temporary total disability benefits from July 5, 1992 to January 7, 1993. Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). This tribunal is required to conduct an independent examination of the record to determine where the preponderance of the evidence lies.
Authoring Judge: Joe C. Loser, Jr., Special Judge
Originating Judge: Hon. Barry Medley,
Warren County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Mary Charmagne Perdue v. National Healthcorp, L.P., Or National Health Corporation, Or Nhc, Inc., And/Or Columbia Health Care
01S01-9508-CH-00142
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employee or claimant, Perdue, contends (1) that the evidence preponderates against the trial judge's finding that she failed to give the required notice of a claimed injury by accident occurring on January 23, 1993, (2) that the said injury was suffered within the course and scope of employment with the defendant, and (3) that she is entitled to compensation for an injury on April 3, 1994. The panel concludes that the judgment awarding benefits for an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the claimant's employment in August of 1994 should be affirmed. The claimant is twenty-nine years old and has an associates degree in nursing. At all material times she was employed by the employer, Columbia, as a registered nurse. She claims to have strained her lower back in January of 1993 at work but continued to work. She did not give any written notice of the injury to the employer and there is conflicting evidence as to whether she verbally reported it. In April of 1993 she saw a chiropractor. On April 17, 1993, she noticed numbness in her hip and leg and began seeing Dr. Jeffrey Adams, who diagnosed a herniated lumbar disk. She did not tell the doctor that the condition was a result of an injury at work, according to the doctor, who performed corrective surgery. On August 5, 1993, the claimant was grabbed around the neck by a patient and pulled down to the patient's bed. Dr. Adams diagnosed a herniated disk at the same location as the previous one and performed a second corrective surgery. She has not returned to work.1 The trial judge found that, as to the claimed January injury, the claimant had failed to carry the burden of proof that her superiors at work had actual notice of her injury or that a work-related injury had occurred on that date.2 Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). Where the trial judge has seen and heard the witnesses, especially if issues of credibility and weight to be given oral testimony are involved, considerable deference must be accorded those circumstances on review. McCaleb v. Saturn Corp., 91 S.W.2d 1 The claimant had another surgery in 1994 by a different surgeon. 2 The trial judge did award medical and hospital benefits for the August injury, from which no issue has been raised in this appeal. 2
Authoring Judge: Joe C. Loser, Jr., Special Judge
Originating Judge: Hon. Jim T. Hamilton,
Maury County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Mary Charmagne Perdue v. National Healthcorp, L.P., Or National Health Corporation, Or Nhc, Inc., And/Or Columbia Health Care
01S01-9508-CH-00142
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employee or claimant, Perdue, contends (1) that the evidence preponderates against the trial judge's finding that she failed to give the required notice of a claimed injury by accident occurring on January 23, 1993, (2) that the said injury was suffered within the course and scope of employment with the defendant, and (3) that she is entitled to compensation for an injury on April 3, 1994. The panel concludes that the judgment awarding benefits for an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the claimant's employment in August of 1994 should be affirmed. The claimant is twenty-nine years old and has an associates degree in nursing. At all material times she was employed by the employer, Columbia, as a registered nurse. She claims to have strained her lower back in January of 1993 at work but continued to work. She did not give any written notice of the injury to the employer and there is conflicting evidence as to whether she verbally reported it. In April of 1993 she saw a chiropractor. On April 17, 1993, she noticed numbness in her hip and leg and began seeing Dr. Jeffrey Adams, who diagnosed a herniated lumbar disk. She did not tell the doctor that the condition was a result of an injury at work, according to the doctor, who performed corrective surgery. On August 5, 1993, the claimant was grabbed around the neck by a patient and pulled down to the patient's bed. Dr. Adams diagnosed a herniated disk at the same location as the previous one and performed a second corrective surgery. She has not returned to work.1 The trial judge found that, as to the claimed January injury, the claimant had failed to carry the burden of proof that her superiors at work had actual notice of her injury or that a work-related injury had occurred on that date.2 Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). Where the trial judge has seen and heard the witnesses, especially if issues of credibility and weight to be given oral testimony are involved, considerable deference must be accorded those circumstances on review. McCaleb v. Saturn Corp., 91 S.W.2d 1 The claimant had another surgery in 1994 by a different surgeon. 2 The trial judge did award medical and hospital benefits for the August injury, from which no issue has been raised in this appeal. 2
Authoring Judge: Joe C. Loser, Jr., Special Judge
Originating Judge: Hon. Jim T. Hamilton,
Maury County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Treva Milan v. Quebecor Printing (U.S.A.) Group and Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company
01S01-9601-CV-00005
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Plaintiff injured her arms and wrists while working for defendant in April 1994. The trial judge awarded her 35 percent permanent partial disability to each upper extremity. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. Plaintiff was working on an assembly line, feeding magazine pages into a sorter, when a wooden pallet slid onto her arms, causing pain. She was placed on light duty and wore wrist splints for at least a month, but when she returned to full duty, she had a recurrence of pain, numbness and tingling. Dr. W. Cooper Beazley, orthopedic surgeon, diagnosed plaintiff with overuse syndrome in both hands and told her to consider changing to a job where she would not have to perform rapid, repetitious work with her hands. However, he did not assess any medical impairment under AMA Guidelines because the Guides do not provide for a permanent impairment rating for overuse syndrome. Dr. Lloyd Walwyn, orthopedic surgeon, conducted an independent medical examination including objective testing. He diagnosed cumulative trauma disorder with mild bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and assessed 28 percent permanent partial impairment to each upper extremity. The employer made efforts to put plaintif f back to work with her post-injury limitations, but there was no work available at the factory that she was able to do. Plaintiff is 26 years old with a high school education and work experience mostly in factory work. The trial judge found that the injury plaintiff sustained reduced her ability to compete in the open job market because it permanently affected her use of her hands. He also found her testimony that she has pain to be convincing.
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Originating Judge: Hon. James E. Walton
Montgomery County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Treva Milan v. Quebecor Printing (U.S.A.) Group and Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company
01S01-9601-CV-00005
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Plaintiff injured her arms and wrists while working for defendant in April 1994. The trial judge awarded her 35 percent permanent partial disability to each upper extremity. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. Plaintiff was working on an assembly line, feeding magazine pages into a sorter, when a wooden pallet slid onto her arms, causing pain. She was placed on light duty and wore wrist splints for at least a month, but when she returned to full duty, she had a recurrence of pain, numbness and tingling. Dr. W. Cooper Beazley, orthopedic surgeon, diagnosed plaintiff with overuse syndrome in both hands and told her to consider changing to a job where she would not have to perform rapid, repetitious work with her hands. However, he did not assess any medical impairment under AMA Guidelines because the Guides do not provide for a permanent impairment rating for overuse syndrome. Dr. Lloyd Walwyn, orthopedic surgeon, conducted an independent medical examination including objective testing. He diagnosed cumulative trauma disorder with mild bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and assessed 28 percent permanent partial impairment to each upper extremity. The employer made efforts to put plaintif f back to work with her post-injury limitations, but there was no work available at the factory that she was able to do. Plaintiff is 26 years old with a high school education and work experience mostly in factory work. The trial judge found that the injury plaintiff sustained reduced her ability to compete in the open job market because it permanently affected her use of her hands. He also found her testimony that she has pain to be convincing.
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Originating Judge: Hon. James E. Walton
Montgomery County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Sherry Lawrence v. Erin Truckways, Ltd. d/b/a Digby Truck Line, Inc., and The Travelers Insurance Company
01S01-9512-CV-00216
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The trial court awarded plaintiff 1% permanent vocational disability. Defendants challenge the trial court's finding of permanent impairment and the trial court's finding of 1% permanent vocational disability. We find that the evidence preponderates in favor of a finding of a compensable permanent injury. We find, however, that the evidence preponderates against an award of 1% permanent vocational disability. W e find the evidence preponderates in favor of a finding of 75% permanent partial vocational disability. We so modify the judgment of the trial court and, as modified, affirm it. Plaintiff, 41, has a tenth-grade education. Her past work history includes work as a waitress, bartender, factory worker and a truck driver. On October 3, 199, plaintiff and her husband were driving for defendant when plaintiff fell from the truck cab as she was trying to open a partially stuck passenger door. She was diagnosed with a sprain to the right upper back and right neck and admitted to the hospital for an unstable diabetic condition. She was also visited by a psychiatrist while at the hospital for depression and sleeplessness. Since her injury, plaintiff has developed chronic pain in her neck and back and eventually in her lower back. She never returned to work for the defendant but, in 1992, she began working as a bartender. She quit after ten months due to pain. Plaintiff was first treated by Dr. Gurumurthy Reddy, an orthopedic surgeon, who diagnosed a neck and upper back strain and noted muscle spasm and limitation of range of motion of the neck. He last saw her on January 31, 1991, when he diagnosed myofascial neck and upper back pain and released her to return to work on a trial basis. Plaintiff was eventually treated by Dr. Dennis Aguirre, an anesthesiologist. He diagnosed fibromyalgia in August 1993. He testified that fibromyalgia is a 2
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Originating Judge: Hon. Walter C. Kurtz,
Lawrence County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Sherry Lawrence v. Erin Truckways, Ltd. d/b/a Digby Truck Line, Inc., and The Travelers Insurance Company
01S01-9512-CV-00216
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The trial court awarded plaintiff 1% permanent vocational disability. Defendants challenge the trial court's finding of permanent impairment and the trial court's finding of 1% permanent vocational disability. We find that the evidence preponderates in favor of a finding of a compensable permanent injury. We find, however, that the evidence preponderates against an award of 1% permanent vocational disability. W e find the evidence preponderates in favor of a finding of 75% permanent partial vocational disability. We so modify the judgment of the trial court and, as modified, affirm it. Plaintiff, 41, has a tenth-grade education. Her past work history includes work as a waitress, bartender, factory worker and a truck driver. On October 3, 199, plaintiff and her husband were driving for defendant when plaintiff fell from the truck cab as she was trying to open a partially stuck passenger door. She was diagnosed with a sprain to the right upper back and right neck and admitted to the hospital for an unstable diabetic condition. She was also visited by a psychiatrist while at the hospital for depression and sleeplessness. Since her injury, plaintiff has developed chronic pain in her neck and back and eventually in her lower back. She never returned to work for the defendant but, in 1992, she began working as a bartender. She quit after ten months due to pain. Plaintiff was first treated by Dr. Gurumurthy Reddy, an orthopedic surgeon, who diagnosed a neck and upper back strain and noted muscle spasm and limitation of range of motion of the neck. He last saw her on January 31, 1991, when he diagnosed myofascial neck and upper back pain and released her to return to work on a trial basis. Plaintiff was eventually treated by Dr. Dennis Aguirre, an anesthesiologist. He diagnosed fibromyalgia in August 1993. He testified that fibromyalgia is a 2
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Originating Judge: Hon. Walter C. Kurtz,
Lawrence County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Brenda Gail Ward v. United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company
03S01-9509-CH-00109
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employer's insurer contends the evidence preponderates against the award of permanent disability benefits. The panel concludes the judgment should be reversed and the cased dismissed. The only issue litigated at trial was the extent of the claimant's permanent disability, if any. On February 19, 1993, the employee or claimant, Brenda Gail Ward, was sweeping a floor for her employer, United Parcel Service, when she suddenly slipped and fell, injuring her back, neck and shoulder. On April 7, 1993, she visited Dr. David Hauge, who treated her until January 26, 1994. Dr. Hauge diagnosed chronic degenerative changes unrelated to the above accident. His diagnosis was confirmed by an MRI of the spine. He found no evidence of an acute injury, except some muscle spasm which was resolved with physical therapy. He estimated her permanent impairment from her degenerative changes at nine percent to the whole body, but provided no proof of medical causal connection to the work-related accident. Approximately two years after the accident, the claimant was evaluated by Dr. William E. Kennedy, who found no permanent anatomical injury or change as a result of the work-related accident, but assessed her permanent impairment from her subjective complaints of pain at eight percent to the whole person. A vocational expert, Norman Hankins, estimated her industrial disability at between thirty-four and sixty-one percent, depending on her physical restrictions. The chancellor awarded permanent partial disability benefits based on forty-five percent to the body as a whole. Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of the trial court, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). This tribunal is required to conduct an independent examination of the record to determine where the preponderance of the evidence lies.
Authoring Judge: Joe C. Loser, Jr., Special Judge
Originating Judge: Hon. Billy Joe White,
Campbell County Workers Compensation Panel 06/25/96
Anna Lue Mckamey v. Red Kap Industries
03S01-9505-CH-00053
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The appellant suffered a stroke while working on an assembly line. Substantial disability resulted, which she alleges is compensable as being accident- related. The trial judge disagreed, and she appeals. Our review is de novo, with the presumption that the judgment is correct unless the evidence otherwise preponderates. TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(2). Mrs. McKamey is 49 years old, with limited skills and education. Her assembly-line job involved the sewing of shirt collar stays, which may be fairly described as repetitive and monotonous. On May 12, 1992, while working the 7: a.m. to 3:3 p.m. shift, she suffered a stroke shortly before the end of her shift which resulted in total vocational disability. She alleges that, like all other employees, she was expected to make production, with its attendant pressures and tensions, which caused or contributed to the stroke. Causation is the dispositive issue. The proof revealed that Mrs. McKamey had been suffering from hypertension for years and had been regularly taking medication for that disease since 1988. She had smoked cigarettes since age 14; at the time of her stroke, she smoked more than twenty per day. Responding to a hypothetical question, Dr. John Purvis, a neurosurgeon, testified that the sewing of hundreds of collar stays during a regular shift could be a contributory factor to the cerebral accident, depending upon a resolution of certain factors, those being arteriosclerosis and hypertension, the former being aggravated or caused by smoking which "played a part" and contributed to her pre-existing condition. The inducing causes of her stroke was the rupture of a blood vessel. After reviewing a videotape of the assembly-line workers, Dr. Purvis testified as -2-
Authoring Judge: William H. Inman, Senior Judge
Originating Judge: Hon. Frank V. Williams, III
Knox County Workers Compensation Panel 06/25/96
Joseph Jarreau v. Vanliner Insurance Company
01S01-9512-CH-00228
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. This appeal presents the questions whether and under what circumstances, if any, an injured worker may give up his right to future medical expenses. The panel concludes the trial court's judgment, approving a settlement in which the right to future medical expenses was voluntarily surrendered for consideration, should be affirmed. The employee or claimant, Jarreau, commenced this civil action by filing a complaint for workers' compensation benefits, averring that he had suffered an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment by Ozark Motor Lines, Inc. The complaint further averred, in relevant part, that his injury had been diagnosed as a tear of the left medial meniscus, that he had reached maximum medical recovery and would retain a permanent impairment but that there was a genuine dispute as to the extent of his permanent disability. He sought to recover medical and permanent partial disability benefits. Vanliner Insurance Company served its answer admitting it was the insurer for Ozark, but denying that the claimant had suffered a compensable injury or that he was permanently disabled. On September 8, 1994, before the case could be tried, the claimant and his attorney and the attorney for Vanliner appeared before Judge Capers seeking approval of a negotiated settlement. By the settlement terms, the claimant was to receive $25,459.2, representing a permanent partial disability of forty percent to the left leg, and an additional $9,54.8 in consideration of the claimant's relinquishment of any claim for future medical benefits, for a total of $35,.. Additionally, the claimant had already received $15,481.3 in medical benefits and $12,481.3 in temporary total disability benefits. We find in the record no transcript of the settlement hearing, but Judge Capers found that Dr. Robert V. Russell had opined the claimant had reached maximum medical improvement and would retain a permanent anatomical impairment of ten percent to the leg. The judge further found the settlement to be in the best interest of the claimant, "in light of the controversy and dispute between the parties." The agreement was approved as a full, final and complete settlement of Mr. Jarreau's claim against the employer and its insurer. Almost eight months later, on April 28, 1995, the claimant applied to the court, per Tenn. R. Civ. P. 6.2, for an order setting aside the settlement 2
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Originating Judge: Hon. Bobby Capers,
Wilson County Workers Compensation Panel 06/25/96