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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Sep 5, 2012

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals

Attorneys 1: Joseph R. Ford, Loudon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tina Kelley.

Attorneys 2:

Daniel W. Starnes, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, D & S Residential Holdings, LP.

Judge(s): WADE

Pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 51, 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. The employee, a human resources director, slipped and fell while performing her job responsibilities. The employee did not return to work following the incident and was subsequently terminated. Although the employee received temporary total disability benefits, she filed suit alleging that she was entitled to additional temporary total and permanent partial disability benefits. While concluding that the employee had sustained a 19% permanent partial disability to the body as a whole, the trial court capped the award at one and one-half times the medical impairment rating because the employee was not denied a meaningful return to work. The employee has appealed, contending that the evidence preponderates against the trial court’s finding that she had a meaningful return to work. She also contends that she is entitled to temporary partial disability benefits. In response, the employer asserts that the 19% impairment rating is excessive. Because the evidence does not preponderate against the findings of the trial judge, the judgment is affirmed.