Mattie Mitchell, as representative for the Estate of Michael Mitchell v. Bunge North America, et al. - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Feb 7, 2018

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals Board

Attorneys 1:

S. Newton Anderson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the employer-appellant, Bunge North America.

Attorneys 2:

Julian T. Bolton, Memphis, Tennessee, for the employee-appellee, Mattie Mitchell, as representative for the Estate of Michael Mitchell.

Judge(s): CONNER

In this claim for death benefits, the employee’s surviving spouse asserted that the employee’s heart attack arose primarily out of and in the course and scope of his employment. The employer filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting the surviving spouse could not “establish that the heart attack arose primarily from [the] employment considering all factors.” In response, the surviving spouse submitted expert medical opinions from two physicians, as well as deposition testimony from multiple other witnesses. The trial court denied the employer’s motion for summary judgment, concluding there were genuine issues of material fact “regarding each theory raised by [the surviving spouse].” Upon careful consideration of the record, we conclude the trial court did not sufficiently state the legal grounds for its decision to deny the motion consistent with the requirements of Rule 56.04 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. We therefore vacate the order and remand the case for additional findings by the trial court.