RICKY D. GARRETT v. WILLIAM DAVID BROWN, ET AL. (TWCA March 15, 2011)
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 D. Garrett ("Employee") was injured when he fell from the roof of a barn during the course and scope of his employment as a handyman for William David Brown ("Employer"), a farmer who carried worker's compensation insurance.
Subsequently, Employee filed a complaint for worker's compensation benefits against Employer and Employer's insurance carrier. Employee also named the Second Injury Fund ("the Fund") as a defendant and alleged that the injury he sustained in the fall in combination with his pre-existing disabilities rendered him totally disabled.
The trial court agreed that Employee was permanently and totally disabled as a result of the injury sustained in the fall combined with the pre-existing disabilities and awarded Employee full benefits with 40% liability for the award assigned to Employer and 60% assigned to the Fund. The Fund appealed, asserting, 1) that Employer does not meet the definition of "employer" for purposes of the Second Injury Fund statute; 2) that the proof is insufficient to show that Employer had knowledge of Employee's pre-existing disabilities; and 3) that the judgment awarded Employee was incorrectly apportioned between the Fund and the Employer. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
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