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.

Facts

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. Employee called in to 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. Employee testified that he could not pick up his daughter because of the pain. Employer’s manager performed an investigation, including interviewing the two alleged witnesses to the incident, and both denied that there was any such incident. Employer denied the claim.

Procedural

At the expedited hearing, Employee testified, as well as the manager and assistant manager for 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 also that he had not established the occurrence of a specific incident at work resulting in injury. Employee appealed.

Holding

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 highlighted the inconsistencies between the medical records and Employee’s testimony as well. Because the Appeals Board affirmed the denial of benefits, it did not consider 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. His concentrates primarily in premises liability, business and commercial representation, employment practices litigation, professional liability, insurance defense and workers’ compensation