By Courtney S. Paterson
Edward Richards v. Kiewit Power Construction Company, et al.
Docket No. 2016-01-0212
State File No. 11422-2015
Filed December 9, 2016
This is a case before the Appeals Board on an interlocutory appeal filed by the employer, and the dispute was whether the employer should be required to provide the employee medical benefits.
The employee alleged suffering a hernia arising out of the course of his employment when, on February 15, 2015, he lifted a heavy wire and felt pain in his stomach. The employer provided a panel of surgeons from which the employee chose Dr. Siegert, who recommended surgery to repair the hernia. The surgery was performed, and at a follow-up appointment on May 27, 2015, the employee was doing well. After being laid off by the employer, the employee began working as an electrician for another employer.
On February 18, 2016, the employee returned to Dr. Siegert, reporting that he had been doing well until two weeks prior when he had to carry his 20-pound toolbox up four flights of stairs. He was then diagnosed with a hernia, and surgery was recommended. Dr. Siegert noted that mesh from the previous placement had pulled away and that the employee has had a “recurrence” of his previous hernia. Dr. Siegert believed the new problem was actually a recurrence of the original hernia.
The employer denied the claim on the basis that the recurrent hernia was caused by an intervening event and that the last injurious exposure rule should place liability for that injury on the subsequent employer. The trial court ruled that the recurrent hernia was the direct and natural consequence of the original hernia and ordered the previous employer to provide the recommended medical care.
Having concluded the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court’s determination, the appeals board affirmed the trial court’s decision and remanded the case.
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.
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