Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Appellate Court Opinions

Format: 08/31/2015
Format: 08/31/2015
Joseph Leibovich, et al vs. The Kroger Co., et al
02A01-9608-CV-00192
Shelby County Court of Appeals 08/19/97
State vs. Monroe Davis
02C01-9608-CR-00291
Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/19/97
State vs. Kerwin Walton
02C01-9610-CR-00321
Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/19/97
Carver v. State
03C01-9703-CR-00096
Polk County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/19/97
Ronald Wade Allen v. Bosch/General Electric d/b/a B.G.A.M., Inc.
01S01-9504-CH-00062
This workers' compensation appeal from the Sumner County Chancery Court has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. _5-6-225(e) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The dispositive issue before us is whether the chancellor erred in dismissing plaintiff's suit for benefits due to plaintiff's failure to provide timely notice of his injury to the employer as required by Tenn. Code Ann. _5-6-21. For the reasons set forth below, We affirm the judgment of the trial court. The plaintiff, Ronald Wade Allen, began working for the defendant, Bosch/General Electric, d/b/a B.G.A.M., Inc., on November 8, 199. Plaintiff claims that on December 2, 199, he was lifting a tray of motors with two other employees, Clara Branham and Marilyn Rogan, when he felt a sharp pain and burning sensation in his back. According to plaintiff, he put the motors down and told Branham and Rogan that he had hurt his back. He then left the employer's place of business and went home without telling the employer's nurse or the plaintiff's supervisors about the injury. Plaintiff testified that on the following day, December 21, 199, he told his supervisors, Donald Felts and Cornise Gillespie, about the incident lifting the motors the day before. Gillespie purportedly told plaintiff that he needed to see Jill Richardson, the company nurse. According to plaintiff, he saw Richardson who gave him ice packs for his back. Rogan, one of the employees working with plaintiff at the time he claims 2
Sumner County Workers Compensation Panel 08/19/97
Beard v. Quadrex
03S01-9610-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. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Defendants, Quadrex Corporation and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, have appealed from the trial court's award of 5% permanent partial disability to the body as a whole. They contend the court was in error in fixing any disability for plaintiff's psychological injury and that the award exceeded the statutory cap of six times the medical impairment rating of 5%. Plaintiff, Timmy Ray Beard, sustained a low back injury in a work-related accident on December 13, 1993. He was 36 years of age at the time of the trial and had completed the 11th grade. He was qualified to do manual labor jobs. He returned to work during June 1994 but had to stop working because he said he was hurting so much he could not work. He has not returned to work. Plaintiff came under the care of Dr. Donald D. Dietze, a neurosurgeon, who testified by deposition. He stated the lumbosacral injury resulted in a 5% medical impairment. Plaintiff was treated with medication and therapy followed by a work- hardening program. The doctor placed certain restrictions on his lifting, standing, stooping, etc. activities. Plaintiff eventually was seen by Dr. Catherine E. Gyurik, a psychiatrist, whose testimony was presented by two depositions. The first deposition was taken on December 4, 1995 and the second deposition was recorded on June 27, 1996. Dr. Gyurik first saw plaintiff on June 12, 1995, which was about eighteen months after the accident. She told the court plaintiff had gained about fifty pounds; he was not sleeping; he was not socially active; and he was irritable and agitated. She gave a diagnosis of classical depression with moderate impairment, which meant he was greatly impaired in connection with his vocational ability. She said this would result in a 25-5 percent impairment for his psychological condition. The doctor prescribed anti-depressant medication and was of the opinion the depression was due to the physical injury he had sustained on the job. 2
Knox County Workers Compensation Panel 08/19/97
Ronald Merriman v. Dekalb County Highway Dept. & Aetna Casualty Ins. Co.
01S01-9610-CH-00221
DeKalb County Workers Compensation Panel 08/19/97
Carol Strong vs. Timothy Strong
02A01-9701-CV-00005
Shelby County Court of Appeals 08/18/97
Steve & Tammy Carroll vs. J.R. Roach
02A01-9703-CV-00056
McNairy County Court of Appeals 08/18/97
State vs. Anthony Allen/Tyrone Henning
02C01-9501-CC-00009
Fayette County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/18/97
State vs. George Martin Jr.
02C01-9512-CC-00389
Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/18/97
State vs. Tyrone Clay
02C01-9608-CC-00261
Lake County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/18/97
State vs. Tyrone Clay
02C01-9608-CC-00261
Lake County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/18/97
Sarah Archie v. S & R of Tennessee, A/K/A Siegel
02S01-9701-CH-00006
This workers' compensation appeal 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) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. As stated by counsel for the appellant in oral argument, this appeal raises only one issue: Whether the evidence preponderates against the trial court's award of thirty percent (3%) permanent partial disability to the left arm and fifteen percent (15%) permanent partial disability to the right arm. Plaintiff is a 46 year old woman who worked for the employer for 19 years. At the time of her injury, which is not disputed, her duties were to remove five to seven pound parts from one line, inspect them and place them on another line. She began experiencing pain in her hands and was referred by the employer to Dr. D. J. Canale, who diagnosed her condition as compatible with carpal tunnel syndrome. On July 27, 1993, he operated on her left hand, which was causing her the most problem. He allowed her to return to work on September 13, 1993. He felt that she had done well and had no permanent physical impairment. She still complained of pain on November 4, 1993. He noted that she used a drill or press at work which she had to grab with both hands and had to lift stock off of an assembly line, although she did not have to do repetitive acts with the left hand. He felt that it was possible that she had some mild arthritis. He last saw her on December 8, 1993, at which time she was apparently not without symptoms and he felt that she was developing some sort of arthritic symptoms or tendonitis. He felt that her conditions were "related to her job." He recommended that she avoid repetitive stress on the hand and wrist, specifically any job that required forceful flexion of the wrist in a repetitive fashion over a number of hours in the day, and said that she would be at risk of having additional problems if she did such motions. Claimant's attorney referred her to Dr. Robert Christopher, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, for evaluation. He saw her on May 17, 1975. In his opinion the repetitive motion activity at work aggravated her preexisting condition of rheumatoid arthritis, resulting in the complaints of constant pain in the left hand with 2
Lauderdale County Workers Compensation Panel 08/18/97
Janice Farmer v. S&R of Tn, et al
02S01-9701-CH-00005
This workers' compensation appeal 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) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The only issue upon this appeal is the degree of compensation to be awarded to the claimant. As a result of developing bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, the claimant was referred by her employer to Dr. William L. Bourland for treatment. Dr. Bourland performed surgery in the form of carpal tunnel releases to each hand, on April 12 and April 26, 1994, respectively. Dr. Bourland was of the opinion that she had no permanent impairment to her left hand and five percent (5%) impairment to her right hand as a result of the condition and surgery. She returned to work with the same employer at the same wage. Some fourteen months later, she was referred by her attorney to Dr. Robert Christopher of Memphis for evaluation of her continuing complaints. Dr. Christopher examined her and gave her some tests and opined that she had a ten percent (1%) impairment of each upper extremity, which, based upon his reference to the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 4th Ed., translated to nineteen percent (19%) of the "combined values tables," and converts to an eleven percent (11%) impairment to the body as a whole. He felt that she should avoid any kind of work that required repeated wrist bending, either flexion or extension, and felt that bending her wrists many, many times per hour would be placing her at risk for further problems with her hands. He said that she should avoid jobs that require her to do repeated lifting of objects weighing more than twenty pounds, as well as pushing or pulling objects weighing more than twenty pounds and should avoid work that requires her to lift her arms above her shoulder height on a repeated basis. He said that she should not do work that required her to do severe exertion with her hands, such as squeezing tools or opening jars, or things of that sort, several times an hour. The employer concedes that the claimant has some permanent disability in her right arm, but feels that the award by the trial court was too great. 2
Lauderdale County Workers Compensation Panel 08/18/97
Gary Higginbotham v. Grinnell Corp.
02S01-9611-Ch-00101
This worker's compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated _ 50-6-225 (e) (3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Chester County Workers Compensation Panel 08/18/97
Paul King v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
02S01-9611-CH-00100
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to this Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with T.C.A. _ 5- 6-225 (e) (3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The first issue presented on this appeal is whether or not the requirements of T.C.A. _ 5-6-241, limiting an award of permanent partial disability to 2 _ times the medical impairment rating, should have been applied to the award in this case. It is not disputed that the claimant sustained an accidental injury arising out of and in the course of his employment with the defendant employer when, on July 11, 1994, w hile working as a tirebuilder, he sustaine d an injury to his left shoulder. He subse quently saw Dr. James R. Wilkinson, an orthopedic surgeon. On October 6, 1994, Dr. Wilkinson performed a surgical procedure on his shoulde r which in volved dis secting the d eltoid muscle, removing the coracoac romial ligam ent and ch anging the anatomic construct of the shoulder. Dr. Wilkinson gave his o pinion that the claimant had sustained a permanent anatomical impairment of 6% to the left upper e xtremity due to joint crepitation, which amounted to 4% of the body as a whole. He agreed that, based upon his range of motion, his impairment should be an extra 2%. Dr. Wilkinson testified that he would expect claimant to have some weakness in his shoulder and would benefit from possibly avoiding overhead and heavy lifting and push ing a nd p ullin g aw ay fro m hi s bod y. He felt that claimant could have some problems with his shoulder performing his previous job. Dr. Wilkinson's rating conv erts to 4% physical impairment to the body as a whole. On January 6, 1995, claimant was released by Dr. Wilkinson to return to work, and he did return to w ork with th e defend ant emplo yer at his previous job, earning the same wages. On Ma y 1, 1995, claimant saw D r. Robert Barnett one time at the suggestion of his attorney. Claimant gave a history to Dr. Barnett of popping and creaking in his shoulder, which had impro ved, but said that he still felt the s ensation of it when he moved h is shoulder. 2
Wayne County Workers Compensation Panel 08/18/97
Sharon Rivers v. Cigna Property & Casualty Co.
02S01-9612-CV-00105
This workers' compensation appeal 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) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The first issue presented to the Court is whether or not the trial court erred in finding that the plaintiff was entitled to benefits for permanent partial disability based upon fif ty percent (5%) to the left lower extremity. It is not disputed that the claimant sustained an accidental injury arising out of and in the course of her employment with the defendant on January 24, 1995, when her left foot became crushed between pieces of equipment. She did not have a fracture but had a crush injury of the soft tissue to the left foot. She was placed in a cast and given medication and recommendations for exercise and warm soaks. She eventually returned to work around March 1, 1995. She was under the treatment of the physician provided by the employer but was released to resume her work and she did resume her regular work as a stacker machine operator for approximately one year. She continued to have complaints of pain and irritation in her ankle from time to time and saw the company doctor. Some time after July 11, 1995, her supervisor told her that the employer would not be responsible for her doctor's bill for the preceding visit to the company doctor. Subsequent to that, however, she returned to see the company doctor, who saw her without expense to her. He felt that she reached maximum medical recovery on July 25, 1995 and opined that she had not suffered any permanent impairment. He concluded that she had sustained a soft tissue injury without any fracture or disarrangement of the joint. On January 17, 1996, Plaintiff's attorney referred her to a rheumatologist in Memphis without prior notice or consultation with the employer. She was subsequently seen and treated by the rheumatologist. She had been satisfied with the treatment given to her by the company doctor before her supervisor told her that his bill would not be paid. The rheumatologist has testified that the claimant suffered a fifteen percent (15%) permanent impairment to her left lower extremity. He based his opinion upon his 2
Madison County Workers Compensation Panel 08/18/97
Gary Higginbotham v. Grinnell Corp.
02S01-9611-Ch-00101
This worker's compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated _ 50-6-225 (e) (3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The first issue for this panel to decide is whether or not this action is barred by thelimitations contained within the Workers' Compensation Act, T.C.A. _ 50-6-203 and _ 50-6-224. Those sections read as follows:
Chester County Workers Compensation Panel 08/18/97
Danny J. Cole vs. State
01C01-9608-CR-00333
Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/15/97
State vs. Marshall Lane Scruggs
01C01-9608-CR-00375
Sumner County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/15/97
State vs. Willard C. Cook, Sr.
01C01-9501-CC-00001
Coffee County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/15/97
State vs. Willard C. Cook, Sr.
01C01-9501-CC-00001
Coffee County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/15/97
State vs. Bryan Hanley
01C01-9508-CC-00266
Hickman County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/15/97
State vs. Antonio Demonte Lyons
01C01-9508-CR-00263
Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/15/97