The Tennessee Supreme Court Workers’ Compensation panel handed down a decision last week affirming a judgment made in a case S. Newton Anderson, managing partner of Spicer Rudstrom’s Memphis office, tried in November 2014. The employee had previously sustained a compensable injury to her shoulder. She was able to return to work in a temporary, modified position and settled her claim within the limitations imposed on an employee that has a “meaningful” return to work. The employer determined that she could not return to her original job.
She was therefore offered a different, permanent position with accommodations for her medical restrictions, but she did not accept it and was therefore terminated, as the temporary position could not be made permanent. The employee then filed a lawsuit to have her settlement reconsidered, claiming that she could not perform the requirements of the newer, permanent job.
The trial court found that the employer, Newt’s client, did everything they could reasonably be required to do after determining that she could not return to her original job, that they had acted reasonably, and that the employee had been offered a meaningful return to work. The trial court declined to award additional benefits.
The employee then filed an appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel for a review of the decision of the trial court. After oral argument and consideration of the record and the party’s briefs, the Panel affirmed the previous judgment of the trial court in favor of the employer and denied any further benefits.
Newt serves as the chair of the firm’s Employment Practices and Workers’ Compensation group. His practice handling various types of civil cases has taken him to all state and federal courts in West Tennessee and beyond. He has received an AV-Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.