Friday, February 18, 2011

TWCA Reviews Whether Employee’s Aggravated Pre-Existing Injuries were Related to her Employment


Employee filed a complaint for workers' compensation benefits against her former employer alleging that her work for her former employer advanced pre-existing arthritis in both knees and required her to have joint replacement surgery on her right knee. The employer denied her claim, contending that her condition was unrelated to her employment.

The trial court found that she had sustained a compensable aggravation of her arthritis and that she had not had a meaningful return to work. It awarded 78% permanent partial disability ("PPD") to the body as a whole. The employer appealed, contending that the trial court erred by finding the award was not subject to the one and one-half times impairment cap found in Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-241(d)(1)(A).

We agree with employer that employee is entitled to an award of one and one-half times her impairment rating and decrease the award to 39% PPD to the body as a whole. We affirm the judgment as modified.

Opinion available at:

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