By Jared S. Renfroe

Gary Thompson v. Mesa Interior Construction Co., Inc.

Docket No. 2016-05-0208

State File No. 77822-2014

Filed December 1, 2016

Summary

Although an employee sustained compensable injuries to his cervical and lumbar spine, he was only entitled to future medical treatment for the cervical spine injury because the only medical proof introduced at trial was that the employee’s lumbar strain had resolved, and any additional treatment needed would be due to the natural aging process.

Facts

Employee fell from scaffolding and injured his cervical and lumbar spine. He was diagnosed with a herniated disc in the cervical spine, which was operated on, and diagnosed with a lumbar strain. After months of treatment for his cervical spine, including being referred to pain management, he requested additional treatment related to symptoms in his lumbar spine. The authorized treating physician opined that the employee sustained only a strain of the lumbar spine, and after six months, it would have resolved, and any continued symptoms were due to the natural aging process. The employee submitted no other medical proof at trial.

The trial court held that the employee was likely to prevail on the issue of whether he is entitled to future medical treatment for his cervical spine but that he was not likely to prevail on the issue of whether he is entitled to future medical care for his lumbar strain that had resolved because the only medical evidence presented at trial supported the employer’s position that any treatment necessitated by the employee’s lumbar spine symptoms are related to the natural aging process and not to the lumbar strain.

Holding

The Appeals Board affirmed the decision of the trial court.

 

Jared S. Renfroe is an attorney for Spicer Rudstrom PLLC. He focuses his legal practice on litigation throughout Tennessee. His concentrates primarily in premises liability, business and commercial representation, employment practices litigation, professional liability, insurance defense and workers’ compensation.

 

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