Appeals Board Declined Attorney Fees

Aug 18, 2017 | Featured, News

By Jared S. Renfroe

Burleson v. Germantown Partners Supercuts
Docket No. 2016-08-1241
State File No.: 78490-2016
Filed August 15, 2017

The Employee’s attorney, in this case, requested attorneys’ fees, but because the Appeals Board denied benefits, it declined to award her attorneys’ fees.


The employee alleged a low back injury allegedly occurring while he was assisting a client out of a chair at work. He testified that he had to leave work early that day due to the injury and that he reported this to his assistant manager. He went to the emergency room the next day, and the intake sheet states that the injury was not work-related. Furthermore, records indicated that he had some previous treatment for his back, although Employee denied this.

The employee called into work to advise that he could not come in due to the injury, but his manager testified that he did not state that it was a work-related injury. The employee testified that he could not pick up his daughter because of the pain. The employer’s manager performed an investigation, including interviewing the two alleged witnesses to the incident, and both denied that there was any such incident. The employer denied the claim.


At the expedited hearing, Employee testified, as well as the manager and assistant manager for the Employer. The trial court denied benefits, concluding that Employee had failed to prove that he was likely to prevail at a hearing on the merits and that he had not established the occurrence of a specific incident at work resulting in injury. Employee appealed.


The Appeals Board issued a memorandum opinion affirming the decision of the trial court. It noted that even at an expedited hearing, an injured worker must still present sufficient proof that an accident resulting in injury occurred for the trial judge to conclude the employee is likely to prevail at trial. The Appeals Board also highlighted the inconsistencies between the medical records and the Employee’s testimony. Because the Appeals Board affirmed the denial of benefits, it did not consider the Employee’s request for an award of attorneys’ fees.

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