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Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on Aug 8, 2017

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter, Andre´e Blumstein, Solicitor General, and Heather C. Ross, Senior Counsel, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Rocky McElhaney and Justin Hight, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, William H. Lewis.

Judge(s): DAVIES

William Lewis (“Employee”) worked for the Tennessee Department of Transportation (“TDOT”) as a Highway Maintenance Worker I from 2002 until June 2010. During the course of his employment, he sustained compensable injuries to his right shoulder, left shoulder, and right eye. The claims arising from these injuries resulted in settlements or awards, all of which provided that Employee retained a right to reconsideration pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-241(d). On May 24, 2010, Employee collapsed while flagging traffic. He stated that his knees gave out at that time. Employee subsequently filed a claim for bilateral knee injuries, and petitions for reconsideration of the three previous settlements. After hearings on June 14, 2014, and December 7, 2015, the Commission issued a written decision. The Commission awarded ninety percent (90%) permanent partial disability to both legs for the May 24, 2010 injury, but declined to award additional benefits for the reconsideration claims. TDOT has appealed from the Commission’s decision pertaining to Employee’s knee injuries, and Employee has appealed from the decision to deny additional benefits on the reconsideration claims. 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 affirm the judgment on the award of disability to the legs, but reverse on the reconsideration claims and remand to the Commission to recalculate Employee’s disability regarding his shoulders.