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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Dec 17, 2013

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals

Attorneys 1:

B. Timothy Pirtle, McMinnville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bridgestone North American Tire, LLC.

Attorneys 2:

Roger J. Bean, Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the appellee, Timothy Gilliam.

Judge(s): KOCH

This appeal involves an employee’s eligibility to seek reconsideration of a workers’ compensation settlement. An employee who sustained a compensable shoulder injury returned to work and settled his workers’ compensation claim. He was later laid off after his physician modified the restrictions for an earlier unrelated injury to his foot. Thereafter, the employee filed suit in the Chancery Court for Coffee County seeking reconsideration of the settlement of his shoulder injury. While this suit was pending, the employee returned to work as the result of a confidential settlement between his employer and the EEOC. Following a bench trial, the trial court determined that the employee could seek reconsideration of the settlement for his injured shoulder and awarded the employee additional disability benefits. The employer appealed and asserted that the employee was not entitled to seek reconsideration because, despite the layoff, he had never been “subsequently no longer employed by the pre-injury employer” as required by Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6- 241(d)(1)(B)(ii) (2008). The 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 Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 51. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.