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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Dec 16, 2016

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Joseph R. White and Cassie C. Rieder, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant Mueller Company.

Attorneys 2:

Jeffrey W. Ruffulo, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee Ulysses Strawter.

Judge(s): DAVIS

Ulysses Strawter ("Employee") was injured on August 11, 2012, in the course of his employment with Mueller Company ("Employer"). After several months of temporary disability, he returned to work at his pre-injury job. Subsequently, his position was eliminated. He remained with Employer but was assigned to a lower-paying job. He filed an action for workers' compensation benefits in the Chancery Court for Hamilton County. The trial court held that Employee had a meaningful return to work and that his award of permanent disability benefits was limited to one and one-half times the impairment rating. Between the trial and the filing of the court's decision, Employee returned to his previous job at a wage higher than his pre-injury wage. The trial court's decision was not appealed. During the months after entry of judgment, Employee was re-assigned to a lower paying position. He filed a petition for reconsideration. The trial court held that Employee was entitled to reconsideration and awarded additional permanent disability benefits in a stipulated amount. 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. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.