GARY HARRIS v. ALCOA, INC., ET AL. (Tenn. Ct. App. May 27, 2009).
The plaintiff, Gary Harris, was injured in a work-related accident. As a result of the accident, his right arm was amputated below the elbow. His employer, the defendant Alcoa, Inc., paid workers' compensation benefits to and for the plaintiff, including a payment of $33,776.83 to the co-defendant, Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, Inc., for a prosthetic arm known as a "myoelectric arm." Following a jury trial in federal court, the plaintiff entered into a confidential settlement of his claim against a third party which arose out of the accident. Thereafter, he filed a complaint, as amended, against the two defendants, averring that, out of the settlement proceeds, he had escrowed with his attorney the sum of $33,776.83. He claims that he did not receive the prosthetic arm for which Alcoa paid. He seeks a declaratory judgment that the escrowed funds rightfully belong to him and not his employer. Alcoa filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings. The trial court granted the motion. The plaintiff appeals. We vacate the trial court's judgment and remand for further proceedings.
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