ALICIA D. HOWELL v. NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC., ET AL. (Tenn. August 11, 2011)
The issue presented in this workers' compensation case is whether the employee made a meaningful return to work. Upon being released by her physician to return to work, she resigned her employment after her employer told her that she would have to return to a production line job that, based on her work experience and personal knowledge of the work conditions and her physical abilities and limitations, she did not believe she could perform.
The trial court awarded her additional benefits, ruling that she did not have a meaningful return to work and was eligible for reconsideration of her earlier settlement for workers' compensation benefits pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-241 (Supp. 2010). The Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel reversed.
We hold that the employee did not have a meaningful return to work following her injuries and that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's award of increased permanent partial disability benefits. The judgment of the Appeals Panel is reversed, and the judgment of the trial court is reinstated.
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