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Tennessee: Employer Saddled With 90 Percent of PTD Award Where Preexisting Condition Prevented Surgery

February 01, 2018 (1 min read)

A trial court properly apportioned 10 percent of a permanently and totally disabled worker’s disability to the Second Injury Fund where it found that the worker sustained a 90 percent PPD as a result of a shoulder and arm injury, but also found that when combined with the worker’s prior medical issues, which included congestive heart failure, the worker was not capable of working. The employer did not actively dispute the PTD determination, but argued that but for the employee’s preexisting conditions, he could have returned to work and that, therefore, the court should have apportioned more of the PTD to the Second Injury Fund. The Special Appellate Panel acknowledged that the preexisting conditions influenced or discouraged the employee from seeking surgery that might have allowed him to return to work. The panel indicated, however, that the trial court had appropriately considered the effect of the prior medical issues on the worker’s ability to return to work.

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 Tankersley v. Batesville Casket Co., 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 16 (Jan. 26, 2018)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 91.02.

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