Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Appellate Court Opinions

Format: 04/16/2014
Format: 04/16/2014
01C01-9505-CC-00153
Bedford County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/26/96
01C01-9507-CC-00214
Robertson County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/26/96
02A01-9502-CH-00031
Shelby County Court of Appeals 04/26/96
03C01-9410-CR-00391
Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/26/96
X2010-0000-XX-X00-XX
Court of Appeals 04/26/96
X2010-0000-XX-X00-XX
Court of Appeals 04/26/96
X2010-0000-XX-X00-XX
Bradley County Court of Appeals 04/26/96
X2010-0000-XX-X00-XX
Knox County Court of Appeals 04/26/96
Nellie Myrtle Farley v. Liberty Mutual Insurance
01S01-9509-CV-00147
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 defendants below appeal the trial court's award of 75% permanent partial disability to each upper extremity. They challenge the amount of the award, its commutation to a lump sum, and the trial court's award of temporary total disability benefits from May 26, 1994 to December 1, 1994. We modify the trial court's award, finding that the evidence preponderates against an award of 75% permanent partial disability to each extremity and towards a finding of 45% permanent partial disability to each extremity. As modified, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. Plaintiff, 63 at the time of trial, has a sixth grade education. She worked for the defendant-employer for almost 26 years. In late October 1993, she was found to have bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. She continued to work until January 3, 1994, when she took an early retirement. She testified at trial that she retired early because her arms were "messed up." Carpal tunnel releases were performed in February and May 1994. At trial, she testified that she reached maximum medical improvement in early December 1994. She has not applied for any job since her retirement. Dr. Abbey, an orthopedic surgeon, treated the plaintiff and testified, by deposition, on behalf of the defendant. He testified that the plaintiff did well post- operatively and that he assigned her a zero percent impairment rating. He also testified that after he assigned her this rating, the plaintiff had problems with swelling and discomfort and, between the two surgeries, she developed triggering in her left long finger. He opined that the plaintiff reached maximum medical improvement on May 23, 1994 for her carpal tunnel syndrome, although she probably had not reached that stage for her triggering finger. He assigned no permanent restrictions. Dr. Robert Paul Landsberg, another orthopedist, examined the plaintiff at the request of her attorney and testified, also by deposition, on her behalf. He
Trousdale County Workers Compensation Panel 04/26/96
Nellie Myrtle Farley v. Liberty Mutual Insurance
01S01-9509-CV-00147
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 defendants below appeal the trial court's award of 75% permanent partial disability to each upper extremity. They challenge the amount of the award, its commutation to a lump sum, and the trial court's award of temporary total disability benefits from May 26, 1994 to December 1, 1994. We modify the trial court's award, finding that the evidence preponderates against an award of 75% permanent partial disability to each extremity and towards a finding of 45% permanent partial disability to each extremity. As modified, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. Plaintiff, 63 at the time of trial, has a sixth grade education. She worked for the defendant-employer for almost 26 years. In late October 1993, she was found to have bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. She continued to work until January 3, 1994, when she took an early retirement. She testified at trial that she retired early because her arms were "messed up." Carpal tunnel releases were performed in February and May 1994. At trial, she testified that she reached maximum medical improvement in early December 1994. She has not applied for any job since her retirement. Dr. Abbey, an orthopedic surgeon, treated the plaintiff and testified, by deposition, on behalf of the defendant. He testified that the plaintiff did well post- operatively and that he assigned her a zero percent impairment rating. He also testified that after he assigned her this rating, the plaintiff had problems with swelling and discomfort and, between the two surgeries, she developed triggering in her left long finger. He opined that the plaintiff reached maximum medical improvement on May 23, 1994 for her carpal tunnel syndrome, although she probably had not reached that stage for her triggering finger. He assigned no permanent restrictions. Dr. Robert Paul Landsberg, another orthopedist, examined the plaintiff at the request of her attorney and testified, also by deposition, on her behalf. He
Trousdale County Workers Compensation Panel 04/26/96
Linda May Kepley v. Yamakawa Manufacturing Company of America and Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance Company
01S01-9505-CV-00075
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 defendants appeal the trial court's award of 4% permanent partial disability to the right upper extremity. They contend that the plaintiff did not prove that she had suffered a permanent injury, that they are not liable for such injury, if it exists, due to the application of the last injurious injury rule and that, even if her injury is compensable and they are liable, the trial court's award is excessive. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. The plaintiff, 45 at the time of trial, has a G.E.D. She has worked almost exclusively in manufacturing facilities, performing mostly assembly and packing jobs. She began working for the defendant-employer in May 1991. In July 1992, she began experiencing problems with her wrists. She was eventually referred to Dr. Anderson, a neurologist, who took her off work for about three weeks. She returned to work after this respite but quit after a few months to move to Illinois to marry. She testified at trial that her arms improved while she was off work. She testified that, when she returned to work, she worked with pain and at a slower rate than she had before. She did not work for the first few months she lived in Illinois, and she testified that her arms improved over this time but that her pain never resolved, and she tried to use her left hand more often. Dr. Anderson testified that an E.M.G. performed on the plaintiff prior to her being taken off work indicated she had carpal tunnel syndrome in her left arm. This diagnosis was consistent with the plaintiff's subjective complaints and his objective findings, he testified. When she returned from Illinois to see him in November, he performed another E.M.G. on her, which indicated borderline carpal tunnel syndrome in her right arm. At the plaintiff's request, he released her to return to work. Plaintiff began working for R.G. Ray in Illinois at the end of January 1994. After about five weeks, she began experiencing pain in her wrists again, worse pain
Sumner County Workers Compensation Panel 04/26/96
Linda May Kepley v. Yamakawa Manufacturing Company of America and Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance Company
01S01-9505-CV-00075
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 defendants appeal the trial court's award of 4% permanent partial disability to the right upper extremity. They contend that the plaintiff did not prove that she had suffered a permanent injury, that they are not liable for such injury, if it exists, due to the application of the last injurious injury rule and that, even if her injury is compensable and they are liable, the trial court's award is excessive. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. The plaintiff, 45 at the time of trial, has a G.E.D. She has worked almost exclusively in manufacturing facilities, performing mostly assembly and packing jobs. She began working for the defendant-employer in May 1991. In July 1992, she began experiencing problems with her wrists. She was eventually referred to Dr. Anderson, a neurologist, who took her off work for about three weeks. She returned to work after this respite but quit after a few months to move to Illinois to marry. She testified at trial that her arms improved while she was off work. She testified that, when she returned to work, she worked with pain and at a slower rate than she had before. She did not work for the first few months she lived in Illinois, and she testified that her arms improved over this time but that her pain never resolved, and she tried to use her left hand more often. Dr. Anderson testified that an E.M.G. performed on the plaintiff prior to her being taken off work indicated she had carpal tunnel syndrome in her left arm. This diagnosis was consistent with the plaintiff's subjective complaints and his objective findings, he testified. When she returned from Illinois to see him in November, he performed another E.M.G. on her, which indicated borderline carpal tunnel syndrome in her right arm. At the plaintiff's request, he released her to return to work. Plaintiff began working for R.G. Ray in Illinois at the end of January 1994. After about five weeks, she began experiencing pain in her wrists again, worse pain
Sumner County Workers Compensation Panel 04/26/96
Vera Jane King v. Travelers Insurance Company and Carter Automotive Products, Inc.
01S01-9509-CH-00155
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 right arm while using an air screwdriver on the assembly line at defendant's automotive products plant. The trial judge awarded her 9 percent permanent partial disability to the right arm and modified the average weekly wage and compensation rate. We find the evidence preponderates against an award of 9 percent and in favor of an award of 5 percent permanent partial disability to the right arm and affirm the judgment of the trial court as so modified. The plaintiff is 56 years old with a tenth grade education and a GED certificate. She had worked in factory assembly with defendant for 17 years at the time she was injured. On July 13, 1992, while using an air screwdriver to build fuel pumps, she experienced severe pain. Her family practice physician diagnosed acute lateral epicondylitis caused by repetitive motion. He recommended that she change jobs so that she would not have to apply pressure with her arms. He placed her on light duty and prescribed physical therapy. Her pain complaints did not improve. Dr. Fonda J. Bondurant, orthopedic surgeon, treated plaintiff for three months with cortisone injections. When plaintiff's complaints of pain still did not improve, he performed surgical release of the elbow in November of 1992. She was able to return to work in January of 1993, but worked long days and experienced recurrent pain. She was placed on a reduced work schedule of four hours per day. Plaintiff reached maximum medical improvement on April 19, 1993, and Dr. Bondurant opined she would continue to have pain and would be restricted to work that did not require repetitive motion. He found no loss of grip strength, no sensory changes, full range of elbow motion, and 3 percent permanent partial disability to the body as a whole according to AMA Guidelines as a result of her residual pain. Dr. Robert Paul Landsberg, orthopedic surgeon, conducted an independent medical examination for plaintiff's counsel on October 2, 1994. He diagnosed 2
Macon County Workers Compensation Panel 04/26/96
Vera Jane King v. Travelers Insurance Company and Carter Automotive Products, Inc.
01S01-9509-CH-00155
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 right arm while using an air screwdriver on the assembly line at defendant's automotive products plant. The trial judge awarded her 9 percent permanent partial disability to the right arm and modified the average weekly wage and compensation rate. We find the evidence preponderates against an award of 9 percent and in favor of an award of 5 percent permanent partial disability to the right arm and affirm the judgment of the trial court as so modified. The plaintiff is 56 years old with a tenth grade education and a GED certificate. She had worked in factory assembly with defendant for 17 years at the time she was injured. On July 13, 1992, while using an air screwdriver to build fuel pumps, she experienced severe pain. Her family practice physician diagnosed acute lateral epicondylitis caused by repetitive motion. He recommended that she change jobs so that she would not have to apply pressure with her arms. He placed her on light duty and prescribed physical therapy. Her pain complaints did not improve. Dr. Fonda J. Bondurant, orthopedic surgeon, treated plaintiff for three months with cortisone injections. When plaintiff's complaints of pain still did not improve, he performed surgical release of the elbow in November of 1992. She was able to return to work in January of 1993, but worked long days and experienced recurrent pain. She was placed on a reduced work schedule of four hours per day. Plaintiff reached maximum medical improvement on April 19, 1993, and Dr. Bondurant opined she would continue to have pain and would be restricted to work that did not require repetitive motion. He found no loss of grip strength, no sensory changes, full range of elbow motion, and 3 percent permanent partial disability to the body as a whole according to AMA Guidelines as a result of her residual pain. Dr. Robert Paul Landsberg, orthopedic surgeon, conducted an independent medical examination for plaintiff's counsel on October 2, 1994. He diagnosed 2
Macon County Workers Compensation Panel 04/26/96
Carol Victoria (Vicky) Pitner v. Vanderbilt Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital, Employer, and Fidelity and Casualty Insurance Company of New York
01S01-9507-CH-00114
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 right arm, shoulder and neck at work on September 26, 1988. The trial court awarded 24 percent permanent partial disability to the body as a whole. Further, the trial court ordered a credit to the employer for temporary total disability benefits paid after May 5, 1992, the date the court found as plaintiff's date of maximum medical improvement. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. Plaintiff is 38 years old with a college degree. While working as a recreation specialist at Vanderbilt Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital, she was injured as she attempted to catch a falling patient. She was treated in the Emergency Room for acute thoracic strain but continued to have pain. Further evaluation led to surgical removal of torn cartilage and the distal clavicle on August 2, 199 by Dr. J. Willis Oglesby. She did not improve, and subsequently began seeing Dr. John Campa, a neurologist, on July 1, 1991. Dr. Campa treated plaintiff with nerve blocks, injections, physiotherapy, biofeedback and anti-depressant medications. He diagnosed C5-6 subligamentous disk protrusion with secondary radiculopathy and C6-7 degenerative disk disease with secondary radiculopathy. He opined she requires further rehabilitation, including future surgery, to improve functioning and permit light to medium work. On July 21, 1993, when plaintiff advised she did not choose to have the recommended surgery, Dr. Campa opined that therefore she had reached maximum medical improvement, and assessed 24 percent medical impairment to the body as a whole under AMA Guidelines. During the period when plaintiff was being treated by Dr. Campa, she was sent back to Dr. Oglesby, the surgeon, for an independent medical examination on May 5, 1992. Dr. Oglesby opined she had reached maximum medical improvement as of that date. He assessed 1 percent permanent partial disability to her right upper extremity using the guidelines of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He limited her 2
Davidson County Workers Compensation Panel 04/26/96
Carol Victoria (Vicky) Pitner v. Vanderbilt Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital, Employer, and Fidelity and Casualty Insurance Company of New York
01S01-9507-CH-00114
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 right arm, shoulder and neck at work on September 26, 1988. The trial court awarded 24 percent permanent partial disability to the body as a whole. Further, the trial court ordered a credit to the employer for temporary total disability benefits paid after May 5, 1992, the date the court found as plaintiff's date of maximum medical improvement. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. Plaintiff is 38 years old with a college degree. While working as a recreation specialist at Vanderbilt Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital, she was injured as she attempted to catch a falling patient. She was treated in the Emergency Room for acute thoracic strain but continued to have pain. Further evaluation led to surgical removal of torn cartilage and the distal clavicle on August 2, 199 by Dr. J. Willis Oglesby. She did not improve, and subsequently began seeing Dr. John Campa, a neurologist, on July 1, 1991. Dr. Campa treated plaintiff with nerve blocks, injections, physiotherapy, biofeedback and anti-depressant medications. He diagnosed C5-6 subligamentous disk protrusion with secondary radiculopathy and C6-7 degenerative disk disease with secondary radiculopathy. He opined she requires further rehabilitation, including future surgery, to improve functioning and permit light to medium work. On July 21, 1993, when plaintiff advised she did not choose to have the recommended surgery, Dr. Campa opined that therefore she had reached maximum medical improvement, and assessed 24 percent medical impairment to the body as a whole under AMA Guidelines. During the period when plaintiff was being treated by Dr. Campa, she was sent back to Dr. Oglesby, the surgeon, for an independent medical examination on May 5, 1992. Dr. Oglesby opined she had reached maximum medical improvement as of that date. He assessed 1 percent permanent partial disability to her right upper extremity using the guidelines of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He limited her 2
Davidson County Workers Compensation Panel 04/26/96
03A01-9511-CV-00419
Court of Appeals 04/25/96
03C01-9502-CR-00058
Jefferson County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/25/96
03C01-9508-CR-00235
Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/25/96
03C01-9509-CC-00281
Monroe County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/25/96
X2010-0000-XX-X00-XX
Court of Appeals 04/25/96
X2010-0000-XX-X00-XX
Hamilton County Court of Appeals 04/25/96
X2010-0000-XX-X00-XX
Court of Appeals 04/25/96
X2010-0000-XX-X00-XX
Roane County Court of Appeals 04/25/96
03S01-9411-CR-00425
Hamblen County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/24/96