Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Appellate Court Opinions

Format: 02/10/2016
Format: 02/10/2016
Special Judge Hamilton v. Gayden, Jr.
01S01-9705-CV-00106
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 injured his back on June 3, 1995 while in the course of his employment with the defendant. The trial judge found the plaintiff had sustained a 55 percent vocational impairment to the body as a whole. The defendant says the medical evidence submitted at trial was insufficient to show the plaintiff sustained a permanent injury and further says the award was excessive even if the plaintiff sustained permanent injury. The judgment of the trial judge is affirmed. Because there is no contest about the accident which injured the plaintiff, we need not discuss the facts thereof. MEDICAL EVIDENCE The only medical evidence in this case was the testimony of Dr. S. M. Smith, an orthopaedic surgeon. Dr. Smith first saw the plaintiff on August 31, 1995. He testified concerning his examination of the plaintiff and detailed specific findings, not necessary to set out, concerning the injury. When asked his opinion about the plaintiff's injury on the date of August 31, 1995, Dr. Smith said: I felt that he needed an MRI of his lumbar spine, along with an EMG and a nerve conduction study of both lower extremities to fully evaluate the back problem. I also felt that he may need a course of physical activity and possible surgical intervention based upon the findings of the MRI. And at that time, I didn't think I could give him an impairment rating, because his condition had not been fully evaluated.1 Dr. Smith saw the plaintiff on April 3, 1996 and again examined him. When asked about his condition at that time, Dr. Smith said: He continues to have problems with his back. His examination was completely unchanged. And I told him that since we cannot get any studies done, that I would go ahead and rate him based on the physical findings that he has now. And he has enough physical findings to make me think that he has nerve root impingement in the lumbar region. I think that he deserves an MRI to help better elucidate this problem. I would not feel comfortable sending him to PT without an MRI, because if he does have a ruptured disc, then this could make his condition worse. 1 The defendant would not pay for an MRI or EMG because they did not recognize the plaintiff's injury as compensable. The plaintiff could not afford the cost of the tests. 2
Clay County Workers Compensation Panel 01/26/98
Jeffrey Glenn Bogle v. Distribution & Auto Service, et al.
01S01-9706-CH-00128
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 filed this suit and alleged he had sustained permanent impairment to his knees as the result of an injury in the course and scope of his employment with the defendant. The trial judge denied the plaintiff's claim for workers' compensation and dismissed his case. The plaintiff says he carried his burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that he sustained a work related injury. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. The plaintiff was age 4 at the time of trial. He had a high school education and was trained in automobile body repair work. The plaintiff alleged his knees were injured when he fell off an automobile frame rack and landed on both knees on August 16, 1994. The plaintiff did not see a doctor about his knee problems until late 1994 or early 1995. The evidence of whether the injury to the plaintiff's knees was causally connected to his work with the defendant is based upon the testimony of the plaintiff and one doctor. The plaintiff testified that he considered the work related fall to be minor at first but that later he developed a gradually progressive serious problem in both knees. The plaintiff explained that he could not have known the seriousness of the fall until the onset of symptoms. Dr. Robert Russell, an orthopaedic surgeon, testified that it was not until after he performed arthroscopic surgery on the plaintiff's knees that he concluded the condition was "trauma related." Dr. Russell further testified that the plaintiff's injury was "consistent" with a fall to both knees, but he did not testify based upon a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the plaintiff 's work related fall caused his knee problems. Dr. Russell assessed a 12 percent permanent partial impairment to each knee and restricted the plaintiff from climbing, squatting, and crawling. 2
Rutherford County Workers Compensation Panel 01/26/98
Anne Crossett v. Babcock Industries, Inc., et al.
01S01-9701-CV-00001
Sumner County Workers Compensation Panel 01/26/98
James v. Peeler
01S01-9707-CV-00145
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with T.C.A. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Supreme Court on May 17, 1996 affirmed a judgment for the plaintiff entered on September 22, 1994 whereby he was awarded benefits for (1) the loss of an eye, (2) temporary, total disability, and (3) "all medical expenses." Benefits for the loss of an eye were calculated to be $16,524., which was paid. Benefits for temporary, total disability were $6,616.8, which was paid. Medical treatment was provided by the Veterans' Administration, whose charges, proved at the trial, were $11,438.. On August 1, 1996, the plaintiff filed a petition for the Writ of Mandamus seeking the judicial coercion of the defendant to pay (1) interest on the benefits for permanent, total disability; (2) interest on the temporary, total benefits, and (3) payment of the medical expenses with accrued interest. The defendant filed a "Response to Petition for Writ of Mandamus," alleging that the interest "has now been paid." With respect to the medical expenses, the defendant responded that on December 15, 1993, before the case was tried, it received a letter from the VA enclosing a statement for medical services provided to the plaintiff in the amount of $11,438.. Payment was requested by draft payable to the VA. After the case was concluded, the VA agreed to accept $7,625. in settlement of its claim for medical expenses. The trial court ruled that "the VA had a valid subrogation interest in the amount of $11,438. for medical benefits provided to the plaintiff and that the
Wayne County Workers Compensation Panel 01/26/98
State vs. Ronald Cass
02C01-9612-CC-00489
Hardin County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/23/98
Schering Healthcare vs. St. Bd. Equalization
02A01-9703-CH-00058
Shelby County Court of Appeals 01/23/98
State vs. Jason Pickens
02C01-9612-CC-00486
Hardin County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/23/98
State vs. Nicole Gray
02C01-9612-CR-00442
Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/23/98
State vs. George Woods
02C01-9701-CC-00037
Hardeman County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/23/98
State vs. Cynthia & Rhodney Roberson
02C01-9702-CC-00083
Gibson County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/23/98
03C01-9610-CR-00407
Bradley County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/23/98
Riley vs. State
03C01-9705-CR-00181
Morgan County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/23/98
State vs. Wilbur Kerney
02C01-9608-CC-00264
Weakley County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/22/98
State vs. Maurice Manley
02C01-9612-CC-00482
Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/22/98
State vs. William Bogus
02C01-9506-CC-00169
Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/22/98
State vs. Robert Glen Coe
02C01-9606-CR-00200
Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/22/98
State vs. Bobbie Weathers
02C01-9703-CC-00123
Henderson County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/22/98
Wilson vs. Wilson
03A01-9708-CV-00324
Court of Appeals 01/22/98
Hicks vs. Hicks
03A01-9708-CV-00359
Court of Appeals 01/22/98
03C01-9607-CR-00269
Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/22/98
Thompson vs. State
03C01-9611-CR-00395
Johnson County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/22/98
James Dollar v. Florida Steel Corporation
02S01-9608-CH-00071
Madison County Workers Compensation Panel 01/22/98
State vs. Roy Wakefield
01C01-9609-CR-00389
Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/21/98
01C01-9702-CC-00040
Bedford County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/21/98
State vs. John Tidwell
01C01-9702-CC-00063
Hickman County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/21/98