One Idea: Workers' Comp Would Bypass Courts

Since Gov. Bill Haslam asked during the 2012 legislative session that major changes in workers' comp be delayed until 2013, a lot of work has been done on it, columnist Tom Humphrey writes. Among recommendations made by consultants retained by the state is a proposal, broadly embraced by business groups, that would take trial courts out of the system. Haslam says he is looking at that option "real seriously" and it would be a significant overhaul. The consultants propose creation of "ombudsmen" in each region — 31 is a suggested number — to try and resolve claims through mediation. If there's still a dispute, the case would go to "workers' compensation judges" — about 20 — overseen by a "chief judge." The Knoxville News Sentinel has more