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Posted by: Chandra Williams on Aug 26, 2015

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Jeffrey E. Nicoson and Ronald L. Harper, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Mattress Firm, Inc. and Zurich American Insurance Company.

Attorneys 2:

David F. Kustoff, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Deanna Mudryk.

Judge(s): KIRBY

The employee was the manager on duty at the employer’s store. After two persons posing as customers stole her purse from the store, the employee pursued the assailants into the employer’s parking lot. The employee sustained physical injuries in the encounter, and was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the incident. The employee sought workers’ compensation benefits for her injuries. At the ensuing trial, only the employee’s psychological injuries were at issue. The trial court held the psychological injuries were compensable, citing the street risk doctrine. However, the trial court limited the employee’s damages to 1.5 times her impairment rating, based on the statutory cap contained in Tennessee Code Annotated § 50-6- 241(d)(1)(A). After a careful review of the record, we affirm the trial court’s conclusion that the injuries are compensable under the street risk doctrine but reverse its application of the statutory cap to the employee’s injuries.