By Jared S. Renfroe

Jacqueline Keyes v. Bridgestone Americas  

Docket No. 2016-06-2007

File No. 58630-2016

Filed May 18, 2017

This case involves an appeal to the Appeals Board for an injury claim that was never before the trial court, so the Appeals Board could not perform appellate review and affirmed the order of the trial court on another injury suffered by the employee.

Facts

The employee, Jacqueline Keyes, alleged that she suffered an injury to her left knee on July 6, 2016, while moving tires after she slipped in water and twisted her left knee. She received medical treatment and was ultimately given a panel of orthopedic physicians. At her first appointment with the physician chosen from the panel, she reported that, earlier in the day, she was working and her left knee “gave out,” causing her to twist her right knee. The authorized treating physician responded to a causation letter and stated that the diagnosis of chronic medial meniscus tear of the left knee was not “related to [Employee’s] work injury of 7/6/16 by greater than 51 percent.” The use of “51 percent” rather than “50 percent” was not discussed by the court. Her employer, Bridgestone Americas, denied the claim for the July 6, 2016 injury, as well as the August 22, 2016 claim.

Procedural    

Ms. Keyes filed a Petition for Benefit Determination, and the Dispute Certification Notice that was entered only referenced the July 16, 2016 left knee injury claim. At the expedited hearing, the judge advised Ms. Keyes that the alleged right knee injury occurring on August 22, 2016 was separate from the July 6, 2016 injury to the left knee and would need to pursued separately. After the expedited hearing, the trial court denied benefits for the July 6, 2016 left knee injury and noted that the decision had no effect on the compensability of the alleged right knee injury claim.

Ms. Keyes appealed, contending that the facts and medical evidence support a causal relationship between her left knee condition and the work-related fall on August 22, 2016. She submitted no brief or position statement setting forth an argument on appeal and did not set forth how the trial court allegedly erred in denying benefits for the July 6, 2016 claim.

Holding

Following well-established precedent, the Appeals Board declined to speculate as to what error the employee believed the trial court made in denying benefits for the July 6, 2016 claim. Furthermore, because the August 22, 2016 right knee injury claim was not ever before the trial court for a hearing, the Appeals Board could not perform an appellate review and affirmed the order of the trial court.

 

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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