Wednesday, July 28, 2010

TWCA Reviews Whether the Trial Court Properly Found that an Employee Sustained a Compensable Mental Injury


Pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 51, this workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law.

The employee alleged a compensable injury to his right shoulder and a compensable mental injury. His employer denied that the alleged mental injury was compensable. The trial court found both injuries to be compensable and awarded 50% permanent partial disability to the body as a whole.

On appeal, the employer contends that the trial court erred by awarding benefits for the mental injury and by finding that the employee did not have a meaningful return to work. The employee contends that the trial court erred by accepting the impairment rating of the Medical Impairment Rating Registry physician and in the trial court's application of the concurrent injury rule. We conclude that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's finding that the employee sustained a compensable mental injury and modify the judgment accordingly.

Opinion may be found at:

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