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Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Update: Recent Cases and New Laws - on CD
About 70 workers’ comp opinions were handed down in 2012. Most of the decisions were from workers’ compensation appeals panels, but a handful of them came from the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Recently, the Tennessee legislature passed an act (PC 1100) targeting pain management in workers’ compensation, particularly the prescribing of Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substances for pain management for a period of time exceeding 90 days from the initial prescription of those controlled substances. Consider these recent workers’ compensation holdings:
- When a certified nursing assistant with a shoulder injury was offered a job as a phlebotomist but turned it down after two weeks of training, the employee had a meaningful return to work, and hence, his award was limited to 1.5 times his medical impairment rating.
- When a lineman removed his safety gloves while working near the top of a utility pole and received an electrical shock to his hand, his claim was barred because of his willful misconduct.
- An employee had one year from his diagnosis to file a claim for post-traumatic stress syndrome.
It's crucial for you to get up to date on the latest laws and findings so you have a better understanding of how workers' compensation changes will affect you in 2013.
Some of questions addressed by 2012 case law:
- When is an employee’s refusal of a job offer following an injury considered reasonable?
- Can an employer successfully assert the willful misconduct defense?
- When does the statute of limitation begin to run in post-traumatic stress syndrome cases?
- Can extrinsic evidence be offered to determine the winner of the “race to the courthouse” following an impasse at a benefit review conference?
- Does the Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s delay excuse an employee’s failure to exhaust administrative remedies?
Main provisions of PC 1100:
- Relaxation of panel requirements for pain management providers
- Stricter definition of who is a “qualified physician”
- Second opinions
- Written pain management agreements
- Employee’s right of appeal
About your presenter:
Attorney Fredrick R. Baker is a member in the Cookeville, Tennessee office of Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones, PLLC, which he joined in 2001. His law practice includes an emphasis in workers' compensation and employment discrimination, as well as ADA and FMLA compliance. Mr. Baker is the Editor of the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Handbook, 4th Edition, published by M. Lee Smith Publishers. He is also on the Advisory Board for the Tennessee Workers' Comp Reporter. Mr. Baker was named Co-Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Upper Cumberland Society of Human Resource Management for 2012 and is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association. Mr. Baker received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, summa cum laude, from Transylvania University and his law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Tennessee.