Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Appellate Court Opinions

Format: 07/07/2015
Format: 07/07/2015
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Court of Appeals 08/28/97
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Monroe County Court of Appeals 08/28/97
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Court of Appeals 08/28/97
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Court of Appeals 08/28/97
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Court of Appeals 08/28/97
Hon. Frank v. Williams, Iii,
01S01-9609-CV-00174
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. This case was heard on March 15, 1996. The plaintiff alleged that he sustained work injuries on October 29, 1986 (pulmonary injury), January 21, 1986 (carpal tunnel syndrome), and January 6, 1986 (back injury). The trial court found the plaintiff's injuries were compensable and awarded the plaintiff permanent total disability plus medical costs. Prior to July 1, 1985, the level of review on appeal was whether there was any material evidence to support the findings of a trial court. Hilton v. Food Lion, Inc., 738 S.W.2d 626, 627 (Tenn. 1987). After July 1, 1985, the level of review is de novo upon the record with a presumption of the correctness of the trial court's findings of fact unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Alley v. Consolidated Coal Co., 699 S.W.2d 147, 147-48 (Tenn. 1985). All of the injuries upon which the trial court awarded compensation occurred after July 1, 1985. The standard of review, therefore, is under the preponderance rule set out in the 1985 amendment to the Workers' Compensation Law as elucidated in Alley, supra. The standard of review created by the amendment requires us to conduct an independent examination of the record on appeal to determine where the preponderance of the evidence lies.
Maury County Workers Compensation Panel 08/28/97
Stella Louise Flatt v. Osh Kosh B'Gosh, Inc. et al.
01S01-9608-CV-00168
Jackson County Workers Compensation Panel 08/28/97
Camille Gaines v. American Airlines, Inc.
01S01-9701-CV-00015
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 (1) the trial court erred in calculating the claimant's average weekly wage, (2) the trial court erred in awarding permanent partial disability benefits in excess of two and one-half times her medical impairment rating and (3) the trial court erred in awarding benefits for hypertension. The employee contends (4) the trial court erred in allowing the employer credit for certain temporary total disability benefits and (5) the appeal is frivolous. As discussed below, the panel has concluded the judgment should be modified as to the claimant's average weekly wage, but otherwise affirmed. The employee or claimant, Gaines, worked as a flight attendant for American Eagle, the employer. On September 13, 1993, she injured her back and neck when, as she was performing her duties on a flight from Nashville to Asheville, North Carolina, the aircraft encountered extreme turbulence. She was thrown about in the cabin, causing the injuries. After receiving medical care and a period of recuperation she returned to work but later quit because her residual disability rendered her unable to perform her work without disabling pain. After a trial on the merits, the trial court found the employee's average weekly wage to be $292.76 and awarded permanent partial disability benefits based on forty percent (4%) to the body as a whole and temporary total disability benefits for twenty-six (26) weeks. The trial court allowed the employer a credit in the sum of$3,361.8 for overpaid temporary total disability benefits. 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). Conclusions of law are reviewed de novo without any presumption of correctness. Wingert v. Government of Sumner County, 98 S.W.2d 921 (Tenn. 1995). 2
Davidson County Workers Compensation Panel 08/28/97
Goad v. Cna
03S01-9606-CV-00064
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 insists the award of permanent partial disability benefits is excessive; and the claimant or employee insists the award of permanent partial disability benefits is inadequate, the trial court erred in finding part of the claimant's claim to be time barred, the appeal should be dismissed for failure to file part of the transcript, and the appeal is frivolous. As discussed below, the panel has concluded the trial court's judgment that the claim for disability benefits resulting from a 1989 injury is time barred should be affirmed, and that the award of permanent disability benefits from a 1992 injury should be reversed and dismissed. This claim involves two separate injuries to the claimant, both arising out of and in the course of his employment by the same employer. The first injury occurred in November of 1989, when the claimant strained his lower back while lifting a fuel cell. The treating physician diagnosed lumbar disc injury with mechanical nerve compression. He was unable to work for three months. Although the doctor assigned a permanent whole person impairment rating of five percent, the claimant returned to work and received no permanent disability benefits. On April 8, 1992, the claimant injured his neck and low back in a fork lift collision, but was unable to work for only a few days. On June 29, 1992, he saw Dr. Robert J. Wilson, who found no objective evidence of injury, but assigned an impairment rating of three percent, from subjective complaints of pain. On January 5, 1993 and June 25, 1993, he saw Dr. William E. Kennedy, who diagnosed chronic low back and cervical syndrome superimposed on pre-existing degenerative disc disease. Dr. Kennedy assigned a permanent impairment rating of eight percent and restricted the claimant from activities requiring bending, stooping, squatting, heavy lifting, working over 2
Knox County Workers Compensation Panel 08/28/97
Joan Marie Griffin v. National Medical Hospital of Tullahoma
01S01-9606-CH-00130
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 plaintiff is 29 years old, married, and has a young child. She is learning- disabled on account of a stroke when she was only four months old; she was born with congenital heart disease, and developed a pronounced scoliosis at age 12 which required the surgical implantation of rods in her back. Notwithstanding, she has held several jobs: attendant at a day care center, counter clerk at a fast- food eatery, sales clerk and cashier at a J. C. Penney store. She was employed by the defendant in August, 1992 in furtherance of its special employment program called Overcoming Challenges which was established to employ afflicted persons. Her initial job with the defendant was working in the cafeteria making sandwiches and serving food. Some of this work was difficult for her, and ambition lagged; the defendant constantly provided encouragement, and at the time of her alleged injury she had been assigned duties as a cashier. She was often absent from work owing to illness or to the pre-emptive care of her young child. She commonly experienced pain and fatigue as a result of standing or sitting for extended periods, or whenever she lifted objects. Her previous jobs at the day care center, fast food restaurant and the J. C. Penney Store also caused pain and fatigue. The injury from which this complaint arises occurred March 3, 1994 when the plaintiff attempted to lift a milk crate. She was initially treated by Dr. Ramprasad who prescribed physical therapy; thereafter, she was referred to Dr. Paul McCombs, a neurological surgeon. He saw the plaintiff on two occasions, April 25 and May 16, 1994, and on the second visit released her to return to work with the recommendation that she avoid prolonged repetitive twisting, bending and stooping, and that she avoid lifting in excess of 2 pounds at any one time or ten pounds repetitively. The plaintiff returned to Dr. McCombs on June 6, 1994 stating that she had a reoccurrence of pain while lifting her daughter. She returned again on July 25, 1994, 2
Coffee County Workers Compensation Panel 08/28/97
Ogburn vs. The Gas & Water Dept., City of Clarksville
01A01-9702-CH-00056
Montgomery County Court of Appeals 08/27/97
United Citites Gas Co. vs. Suddarth
01A01-9611-CV-00528
Rutherford County Court of Appeals 08/27/97
Lindsey vs. Lindsey
01A01-9702-CV-00079
Sumner County Court of Appeals 08/27/97
Holder, etc., vs. Celsor, et. al.
01A01-9702-CV-00080
Trousdale County Court of Appeals 08/27/97
Byrd vs. Byrd
01A01-9703-CV-00139
Davidson County Court of Appeals 08/27/97
State vs. Vincent Jones
02C01-9409-CR-00201
Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/27/97
State vs. James Delbridge
02C01-9605-CR-00142
Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/27/97
State vs. Edward Jones
02C01-9607-CR-00226
Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/27/97
State vs. Maurice Teague
02C01-9704-CC-00132
Court of Criminal Appeals 08/27/97
State vs. John Williams
02C01-9704-CC-00148
Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/27/97
Scruggs vs. TR
03A01-9701-CV-00038
Knox County Court of Appeals 08/27/97
Bowman v. A-best
03A01-9703-CV-00092
Court of Appeals 08/27/97
Bowman v. A-best
03A01-9703-CV-00092
Court of Appeals 08/27/97
Spruell vs. Spruell
03A01-9704-CV-00124
Court of Appeals 08/27/97
Rollins vs. State
03C01-9412-CR-00440
Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/27/97