JAMES AUTWELL v. BACK YARD BURGERS, INC. ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 17, 2015

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Garrett M. Estep, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Wausau Underwriters Insurance Company.

Attorneys 2:

Shannon D. Elsea, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, James Autwell.

Judge(s): KIRBY

The employee was injured in a motor vehicle accident while driving from doing a personal task in Alabama to a meeting for his employer in Mississippi. The employer denied his workers’ compensation claim, so the employee filed this lawsuit. The trial court awarded benefits based on a finding that the claimant was a “traveling employee.” Its holding also implied, in the alternative, that the employee was on a “special errand” for the employer. The employer has appealed. 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 pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 51. We conclude that the injury did not arise from or in the course of the employment, and therefore, reverse the award of benefits to the employee.

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