DENNIE STOUGH v. GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER COMPANY ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 15, 2014

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Alexander S. Rieger, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellant, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Second Injury Fund.

Attorneys 2:

Randy M. Chism, Union City, Tennessee, for the appellee, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

Judge(s): CANTRELL

An employee sustained a compensable lower back injury, had surgery, returned to work, and settled his claim. Several months later, he re-injured his lower back. After several surgical procedures, he was unable to return to work. He filed this action for workers’ compensation benefits against his employer and the Second Injury Fund. The trial court awarded permanent total disability benefits, apportioning 50% of the award to the employer and 50% to the Fund. The Fund has appealed, contending that the trial court erred by assigning any liability to it because the later injury rendered the employee totally disabled without regard to the first injury. We conclude that the trial court failed to provide the basis for its apportionment of liability between the Fund and the employer. We therefore reverse the trial court’s judgment to that extent and remand the case for further consideration on this issue.

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