By Courtney S. Paterson

Carolyn Beecher v. McKesson Corporation, et al.   

Docket No. 2016-08-0279

State File No. 97742-2015

Filed December 19, 2016

Posture

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

The employee alleged suffering pelvic organ prolapse as a result of lifting while in the course and scope of her employment on November 15, 2015, when she lifted a heavy item from a conveyor belt and felt pain in her abdomen. The employer testified that she reported the work accident on December 10, 2015. The employee was examined by gynecologist Dr. Elizabeth Mann, who referred her for a surgical consult with Dr. Stephen Portera. Dr. Portera performed surgery and released the employee back to work with lifting restrictions. After surgery, the employee was provided a panel of physicians, from which she chose Dr. Corey Tinker. Dr. Tinker opined that he did not feel likely that her condition was work-related. However, he noted that his opinion was limited because he was not able to see her prior to surgery. Dr. B. Todd Campbell, a gynecologist, performed a records review at the employer’s request; he opined that the employee’s condition cannot be associated with one work incident on a particular day with any precision, accuracy or reliability. He further opined that even if a work incident was a potential contributing factor, work was not more than a possible minor contributing factor that led to the employee’s condition. The parties took Dr. Tinker’s deposition, and he acknowledged that assigning a percentage of responsibility to the employee’s employment would be speculative and agreed that the employment might bear no responsibility for the injury. On the basis of these medical opinions, the trial court determined that the employee had not presented sufficient medical evidence to establish she was likely to succeed at a trial.

The appeals board affirmed the trial court’s decision, as they were unable to conclude the trial court erred in declining to award benefits.

 

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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