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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on May 10, 2012

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals

Attorneys 1:

David T. Hooper, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Whirlpool Corporation.

Attorneys 2:

Steve C. Norris, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Melvin Hill.

Judge(s): KOCH

This workers’ compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law in accordance with Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 51. The employee filed a complaint in the Chancery Court for Coffee County seeking workers’ compensation benefits for his loss of hearing. Following a bench trial, the trial court concluded that the employee’s hearing loss was caused by his exposure to noise at the workplace. Accordingly, the trial court awarded the employee $68,759.73 in permanent partial disability benefits after concluding that the employee had a vocational disability of 78% to his hearing. The court also awarded the employee his reasonable and necessary medical expenses and discretionary costs. The employer raises two issues on this appeal: (1) whether the employee gave timely notice of his alleged injury; and (2) whether the employee failed to prove that his hearing loss was work-related. We hold that the trial court did not err in finding that the employee gave timely notice and that the employee proved his hearing loss was work-related. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.