Monday, August 23, 2010

TWCA Reviews Whether the Trial Court had Jurisdiction to Compel Employer to Authorize a Medical Procedure

RICKY L. MAYES v. PEEBLES, INC. (TWCA August 23, 2010)

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.

Ricky Mayes ("Employee") sustained a compensable injury to his spine. His claim against Peebles, Inc. ("Employer") was settled in accordance with the workers' compensation statute. His authorized treating physician subsequently recommended a surgical procedure. Employer's medical utilization review provider declined to approve the procedure.

After an initial administrative appeal was denied, Employee filed a motion in the trial court, seeking to compel Employer to authorize the procedure. The trial court granted the motion, and awarded attorney's fees to Employee. On appeal, Employer argues that the trial court did not have jurisdiction, because Employee did not exhaust his administrative appeals, and that the trial court erred by awarding attorney's fees. We affirm the judgment.

Opinion may be found at:

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