Appeals Board Announces 2021 Oral Arguments


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 employee’s choosing. The employee argued that the authorized physician, not chosen from a panel, didn’t adequately treat her injuries. The employer appealed.

Second, in Harris v. Nashville Center for Rehabilitation and Healing, the employee fell and became injured at work while dodging a flying cockroach. The employer denied the claim, arguing that the injury didn’t arise primarily out of employment because the cockroach wasn’t a workplace hazard. The trial court disagreed, finding that roaches were part of the work environment based on the employee’s unrebutted testimony that she had seen cockroaches in the workplace before her accident.

Third, in Day v. Great Salons of Knoxville, the trial court dismissed the case without prejudice after the employee failed to file a hearing request within a court-ordered deadline. The employee refiled the claim approximately four months later. The employer argued that because she did not file within 90 days of the dismissal order, the claim was barred. The trial court disagreed and ordered the employer to provide additional medical benefits.

The Board will reconvene on Feb. 4 to consider Turner v. Pee Dee Country Enterprises, Inc. The employee died in a performing artist’s tour bus crash. His widow initially sought benefits in Mississippi but later pursued them in Tennessee, and the employer accepted the Tennessee claim. Her attorneys requested a 20 percent contingency fee on the substantial difference between the amounts she was entitled to under both states’ laws. The trial court found the requested amount unreasonable and ordered approximately seven percent of the award, to be paid in a lump-sum. Employee’s attorneys appealed, arguing in part that the widow supports the full amount requested.

The January docket is available here; the Feb. 4 docket is here.

Photo from the gallery at Governor Lee's Mansion.

Courtesy of The Tennessee Court of Workers' Compensation Claims

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