By Jared S. Renfroe

Marshall Beene v. Metro Services, Inc.

Docket No. 2016-01-0264

State File No. 66494-2014

Filed February 12, 2017

Summary

In this case, the issue was whether the court could award temporary disability benefits to an employee after reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI) after the authorized treating physician retracted his opinion regarding the employee having reached MMI. The Appeals Board held that awarding additional temporary disability benefits was proper.

Facts

The employee, Mr. Beene, fell from a ladder while at work, sustaining injuries to his right upper extremity, shoulder and cervical spine. He was treated by Dr. Cincere, who referred him for an evaluation with a cervical spine physician and also to a pain management specialist. However, the employee’s insurance carrier did not authorize these requests. Dr. Cincere stated that the carrier had interfered with his care for the employee and that he had nothing further to offer. Subsequently, Dr. Cincere completed a Final Medical Report, opining that Mr. Beene had reached MMI. Subsequently, Mr. Beene’s counsel sent a letter to Dr. Cincere to address several disputed issues, and in response, Dr. Cincere retracted his previous opinion about the employee reaching MMI. He then placed Mr. Beene on restrictions and again referred him to the specialists, stating that, until the employee received treatment from those specialists, he would not have reached MMI.

Mr. Beene sought additional temporary disability benefits and medical benefits. The trial court held that Dr. Cincere had retracted the previous opinion from the Final Medical Report and that the employee was entitled to additional medical benefits and temporary disability benefits. The employer appealed the trial court’s order regarding additional temporary disability benefits but not the additional medical benefits.

Holding

The Appeals Board affirmed the decision of the trial court, finding that Dr. Cincere’s opinion from the Final Medical Report was retracted by his later response to Mr. Beene’s counsel regarding several disputed issues. Mr. Beene was awarded additional temporary disability benefits.

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

 

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