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Posted by: Landry Butler on Nov 9, 2016

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals Board

Attorneys 1:

M. Reed Martz, Oxford, Mississippi, for the employer-appellant, Eaton Corporation.

Attorneys 2:

Matthew G. Coleman, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the employee-appellee, Douglas Buckner.

Judge(s): DAVIDSON

In this interlocutory appeal, the employer challenges the trial court’s determination that the employee’s failure to provide timely notice of his work-related injury should be excused. Following an expedited hearing, the trial court found that the employee had not given timely notice of his acute back injury but had provided a valid excuse for that failure, namely, that he was unaware of the full nature and extent of the injury. The trial court then ordered medical and temporary disability benefits. The employer has appealed, arguing that (1) the employee’s failure to provide timely notice should not be excused, (2) the medical evidence was insufficient to award benefits, and (3) the trial court incorrectly calculated the employee’s average weekly wage. We hold that the trial court erred in concluding the employee’s excuse for failing to provide timely notice was reasonable. Accordingly, the award of benefits is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.