By Jared S. Renfroe

William Russell, Jr. v. Futuristic, Inc.

Docket No. 2016-02-0299

State File No. 94942-2015

Filed January 24, 2017


In this case, the employee felt a stinging and burning sensation while lifting a heavy object at work but did not report the injury. Subsequently, he was diagnosed with a hernia and provided notice several months after the alleged injury. The Appeals Board held that the employee was unlikely to prevail at a hearing on the merits.


The employee alleged that he sustained a hernia while working for the employer on an unknown date in August 2015. However, he did not report the injury initially. In September 2015, he sought medical treatment and was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, and was referred to a urologist. In October 2015, his employment with the employer ended due to ceased operations. He saw the urologist in November 2015 and was diagnosed with a hernia. The employee then reported the hernia as an alleged work injury in November 2015. He received subsequent treatment for the hernia in February 2016.

The employer denied the claim on the basis that the employee did not provide sufficient notice of the alleged injury and that he failed to establish a compensable injury. An Expedited Hearing was held on the record, and the court held that the employee was not likely to prevail at a trial on the merits. The employee appealed.


The Appeals Board affirmed the trial court’s decision that the employee had not presented sufficient evidence to prove that he was likely to prevail at a trial on the merits. It found that there was no mention in medical records that the hernia was caused by work until six months after the alleged occurrence of the injury. Furthermore, the employee missed no work as a result of the injury, and he presented no proof that the hernia occurred as a result of his work activities or that it appeared “suddenly” or “immediately” following a work accident.


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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