Spicer Rudstrom attorney Jared S. Renfroe, associate in the firm’s Memphis office, has secured two victories in workers’ compensation cases for his clients in the last week.
Late last week, he and Amanda L. Tarsa, associate in the firm’s Nashville office, prevailed in a case based on lack of jurisdiction. In that case, the claimant reported an injury to her right elbow after allegedly falling from a cage while lifting a heavy box in November 2014. That put the case within the jurisdiction of the Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. The claimant had previously submitted a Petition for Benefit Determination, which was resolved when she was provided a panel of physicians. The authorized treating physician determined that her bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome did not arise primarily out of and in the course of her employment. Thus, the employer denied the claim. The claimant was silent for several months but subsequently filed suit in the Davidson County General Sessions Court. Jared prepared the Motion to Dismiss on behalf of the employer, and Amanda argued it in the Davidson County General Sessions Court. The motion was heard and granted by the judge.
And just today, Jared secured a favorable ruling from the Tennessee Department of Labor, denying workers’ compensation benefits to a worker who alleged she was injured on the job. In that case, the claimant reported an injury to her shoulder, saying it happened in March 2014, but she did not report the injury for nearly a year and a half. She filed a Request for Assistance with the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and Jared argued for the employer at the hearing on the matter. The Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation issued an order denying benefits based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction, finding that the claimant described her injury as gradually occurring. This would avoid a fatal statute of limitations defense asserted. Applying the last date worked rule, the claimant’s date of alleged injury would be October 2015, well after the July 2014 amendments to the workers’ compensation law went into effect. However, because the claimant filed a Request for Assistance with the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation rather than filing a Petition for Benefit Determination with the Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims, the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation denied her requested benefits based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Jared successfully prepared the position statement and argued the matter.