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Tennessee: Court Stresses Clear and Convincing Evidence Required to Rebut MIR Physician’s Impairment Rating

April 27, 2017 (1 min read)

Under Tennessee’s medical impairment registry (“MIR”) program, where there is a disagreement among examining physicians as to the worker’s level of impairment, either party may seek an additional evaluation by an independent medical examiner from the workers’ compensation administrator’s registry [see Tenn. Code. Ann. § 50–6–204(d)(5)]. The opinion given by the IME is presumed to be the accurate impairment rating. The presumption may be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. A Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel held that in order to rebut the presumption, evidence must be offered to show that the MIR physician used an incorrect method in assigning the impairment rating or otherwise misinterpreted the AMA Guides. The Panel indicated that in this case, the injured worker had only shown that his expert disagreed with the MIR physician’s conclusions. Such as disagreement did not constitute clear and convincing evidence that the MIR physician was wrong.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Williams v. Ajax Turner Co., 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 204 (Apr. 12, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 94.02.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see