Decision from Appeals Board on Job Abandonment

Aug 17, 2017 | Featured, News

By Courtney S. Paterson


Miguel Betances v. Brock Services, LLC, et al.                                 

Docket No. 2016-08-0883      

State File No. 59040-2016

Filed August 1, 2017



This is a case before the Appeals Board on the interlocutory appeal filed by the employer, and the dispute was whether the employer should be required to provide temporary disability benefits.

The employee alleged suffering an injury to his left hip, left hand, and right elbow on July 18, 2016, from a fall.  The Employer accepted the claim as compensation and provided medical care and some temporary disability benefits. The employee continued to work for the Employer through July 29, 2016. However, the Employer terminated temporary disability benefits after determining Employee had abandoned his job.

The employee contends he did not abandon his job but was instructed to leave the job site by his supervisor because he complained of pain from his work-related injuries. The employer provided affidavits that Employee simply stopped showing up for work. The Employer sent a letter to the Employee on September 20, 2016, requesting he return to work since his treating physician had released him to return to work on restricted duty. The employee stated he was out of the country at that time and did not receive the letter until October 13, 2016.

The employee further testified he called the Employer on October 18, 2016, to inquire about returning to work, but was informed his position was no longer available.  The trial court found that the Employee’s termination was not for cause and ordered the Employer to pay past and ongoing temporary disability benefits.

The appeals board affirmed the decision of the trial court finding no error.


An associate with Spicer Rudstrom since 2009, Courtney focuses her practice on automobile liability, insurance coverage litigation, insurance defense litigation, insurance subrogation, premises liability, products liability, and workers’ compensation. She is admitted to practice in all trial and appellate state courts in Tennessee, as well as the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.