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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Aug 1, 2016

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals

Attorneys 1:

William F. Kendall, III, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dana Corporation.

Attorneys 2:

Jacky O. Bellar and Jamie D. Winkler, Carthage, Tennessee, for the appellee, Vicki Russell.

Judge(s): CANTRELL

In 1994, the employee received workers' compensation benefits and future medical benefits for a work-related cervical spine injury and left carpal tunnel syndrome she sustained in 1991. The year after the employee received workers' compensation benefits, the physician treating her work-related injury referred the employee to her primary care physician for continued treatment of her work injury. From 1995 to the present, the employee's primary care physician has treated her work-related injury and other medical problems unrelated to her work. In 2010, the employee underwent two surgeries on her left shoulder and left knee unrelated to her work injuries. In June 2013, the employer filed a motion seeking an independent medical evaluation, which the trial court granted. After receiving the report from the evaluation, the employer filed motions seeking to “de-authorize,” or remove the employee's treating physician and permission to provide a panel of three pain management physicians for the employee?s future medical treatment. The trial court denied the motions. The employer has appealed from that order. Pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 51, 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. We reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand for proceedings consistent with this decision.