Thursday, October 21, 2010

TWCA reviews findings of concurrent injuries and the burden of proof under TCA §50-6-242 in a Worker's Compensation Case


After a plant closure, employee sought reconsideration of a prior workers'compensation settlement for right shoulder and elbow injuries in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 50-6-241(a)(2) (2008). Employer denied that he was entitled to reconsideration of the elbow injury because it was a separate injury to a scheduled member. Id. section 50-6-241(a)(1).

The trial court found that the two injuries were concurrent and that employee was entitled to receive reconsideration as to both. It further found that employee had proven three of the four factors set out in Tenn. Code Ann. section 50-6-242(a) (2008) by clear and convincing evidence and was therefore not limited by the six times impairment cap. The trial court awarded 57.5% permanent partial disability to the body as a whole.

On appeal, employer contends that the trial court erred by finding the injuries to be concurrent and by finding that employee had satisfied the requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. section 50-6-242(a). We affirm the holding that the injuries were concurrent but find that employee did not satisfy his burden of proof under Tenn. Code Ann. section 50-6-242(a). We modify the judgment accordingly.

Opinion may be found at:

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