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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jan 26, 2015

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Michael L. Haynie, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Auto Owners Mutual Insurance Company.

Attorneys 2:

William L. Aldred, Jr., Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Vanessa Hobbs.

Judge(s): CANTRELL

The sole issue presented in this workers’ compensation appeal is whether the trial court correctly found that the employee did not have a meaningful return to work. The employee, a Head Start teacher, sustained a compensable back injury. She continued to work for about a year but then was not rehired because she had failed to meet a federal education mandate. The trial court found that she had not made a meaningful return to work and awarded benefits in excess of one and one half times the anatomical impairment. Tenn. Code. Ann. § 50-6-241(d). The employer’s 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 reverse the trial court’s finding and remand for entry of a judgment based on one and one-half times the anatomical impairment.