By Jared S. Renfroe
Linda Green v. Rogers Group
Docket No. 2016-04-0085
State File No. 99072-2015
Filed December 13, 2016
This case involves the issue of whether the employer qualified for a presumption of correctness that the employee’s illegal drug use was the proximate cause of the injury when the employee’s drug test resulted in a positive finding of marijuana metabolites.
In this case, the employee fell approximately eight feet from a catwalk while working, sustaining a collapsed lung, several broken ribs, and spinal injuries. At the emergency room, they requested a urine drug test, but she advised that she was in too much pain to provide urine. Subsequently, on the same date, she provided urine for a drug test, and the results were positive for marijuana metabolites.
She got tested again a couple of months later for purposes of re-employment with the employer, and the test was again positive for marijuana metabolites. The employer denied the claim on the basis that it was a certified drug-free workplace and that it was entitled to a presumption that her drug use was a proximate cause of the injury.
The trial court concluded that the drug screening report showed marijuana metabolites in amounts less than the cut-off levels specified in the regulations considered presumptively positive. Thus, it held in favor of the employee and ordered a panel of physicians.
The Appeals Board held that the test results were ambiguous, and thus the trial court lacked enough information to reach its determination that the employer did not qualify for a presumption of causation. Therefore, it vacated the trial court’s order and remanded the case for the submission of additional evidence concerning the correct interpretation of the drug screening results.
Jared S. Renfroe is an attorney for Spicer Rudstrom PLLC. He focuses his legal practice on litigation throughout Tennessee. He concentrates primarily on premises liability, business and commercial representation, employment practices litigation, professional liability, insurance defense, and workers’ compensation.
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