ALISIA ARIAS v. DURO STANDARD PRODUCTS COMPANY ET AL. (Tenn. January 22, 2010)
The employee sought workers' compensation benefits, contending that she had developed occupational asthma as a result of exposure to dust in the workplace. The employee offered into evidence the written report of a physician who performed an independent medical evaluation of the employee at the request of the employee's attorney. The employer objected to the introduction of the report, contending that Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-235 is the exclusive method of introducing medical proof in workers' compensation cases and that this statute permits the employer to depose the expert whose report is offered into evidence. Overruling the objection, the trial court admitted the report into evidence pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Evidence 803(6) and awarded workers' compensation benefits to the employee based on the physician's report. The employer appealed. We conclude that the trial court erred by admitting the evaluating physician's report into evidence and that the remaining admissible evidence is insufficient to establish either causation or permanency. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court awarding workers' compensation benefits is vacated, and the complaint is dismissed.
Opinion may be found at: