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Tennessee: Injured Worker’s Testimony Sufficient to Establish Total Disability in Spite of Light Work Capabilities

February 02, 2017 (1 min read)

In an unpublished opinion, the special appeals panel of the Tennessee Supreme Court has affirmed a finding that an injured employee was entitled to permanent and total disability benefits in spite of the fact that a functional capacity evaluation (FCE) indicated the employee was capable of performing light work for eight hours per day. Noting that a court must look at a variety of factors in determining whether an injured worker had suffered permanent and total disability, the appellate panel acknowledged that the worker was a high school graduate, had some supervisory experience in several jobs, and had bid jobs and worked with contractors. The panel observed, however, that the worker was fifty-eight years old when the trial took place, that his academic abilities fell short of 84 percent of his peers, that the resulting physical limitations from his injury excluded him from almost every job he had ever held in his life, and that, for the few jobs that might remain, the worker’s inability to stand, sit, or walk for extended periods of time without pain would make work nearly impossible. The trial court correctly determined that the worker was permanently and totally disabled. This case illustrates that a number of states follow the “odd lot” rule [see Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 83.01, et seq.] without evoking the rule by name.

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 Gray v. Vision Hospitality Group, Inc., 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 16 (Jan. 26, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 83.01.

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