Ashley Patton v. General Motors

Jan 20, 2017 | Featured, News, Workers' Compensation

By Jared S. Renfroe

Ashley Patton v. General Motors

Docket No. 2016-05-0749

State File No. 50575-2016

Filed January 17, 2017


In this case from the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, it was reiterated that a nurse or physician’s assistant is not qualified to provide an expert medical opinion on causation. The employee alleged that she sustained injuries to her hands and wrists while working for her employer.

At the expedited hearing, the only medical opinion regarding causation was provided by a physician’s assistant, who, similar to a nurse, is not qualified to provide an expert medical opinion with respect to causation. There was no expert medical opinion from any physician regarding the causation of her alleged injuries. Thus, the trial court held that she was not likely to prevail at a hearing on the merits.

The employee appealed, but the record on appeal did not contain a transcript or a statement of the evidence. As such, the Appeals Board declined to speculate as to the nature and extent of proof presented to the trial court. Additionally, the employee did not file a position statement, brief, or any other form of argument on appeal to explain how the trial court erred in ruling on her case.

The Appeals Board pointed out that it is not the role of the courts to research or construct a litigant’s case or arguments for her. Thus, they affirmed the trial court’s order.


Jared S. Renfroe is an attorney for Spicer Rudstrom PLLC. He focuses his legal practice on litigation throughout Tennessee. He concentrates primarily on premises liability, business and commercial representation, employment practices litigation, professional liability, insurance defense, and workers’ compensation.


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