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Employer Must Authorize Treatment as is Reasonable, Necessary and Causally Related to Work Accident: Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel Summary, Malcom S. Edwards v. The Job Shoppe U.S.A., et al.

Employer Must Authorize Treatment as is Reasonable, Necessary and Causally Related to Work Accident: Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel Summary, Malcom S. Edwards v. The Job Shoppe U.S.A., et al.

April 26, 2017

By Courtney S. Paterson

Malcolm S. Edwards v. The Job Shoppe U.S.A., et al.

Docket No. 2016-05-0727

State File No. 38774-2016

Filed April 20, 2017

Posture

This is a case before the Appeals Board on interlocutory appeal filed by the employer, and the dispute was whether the employer should be required to provide the employee medical and temporary disability benefits.

The employee, Malcom S. Edwards, alleged he experienced pain and symptoms in his neck and right arm after lifting car seats on May 10, 2016, his second day of work. His employer, The Job Shoppe U.S.A., et al., provided a panel of physicians, from which Mr. Edwards selected Dr. Caleb Wallwork. Dr. Wallwork diagnosed recurrent neck pain and referred Mr. Edwards to Dr. Schwarz.

Before seeing Dr. Schwarz, the employer denied the claim on the basis that Mr. Edwards suffered from chronic pain from a prior neck surgery and had complained of the exact same symptoms in the weeks prior to the alleged work accident. The trial court issued an order requiring the employer to authorize medical treatment with Dr. Schwarz until the doctor had an opportunity to address causation. However, the trial court concluded that Mr. Edwards had not come forward with sufficient evidence to show he was likely to prevail at a hearing on the merits with respect to the issue of medical causation, and thus the trial court denied his claim for temporary disability benefits.

The appeals board affirmed the trial court’s decision as modified in that the employer must authorize such treatment as is reasonable, necessary and causally related to the work accident and not simply allow only a “causation opinion” from Dr. Schwarz.

 

 

An associate with Spicer Rudstrom since 2009, Courtney focuses her practice on automobile liability, insurance coverage litigation, insurance defense litigation, insurance subrogation, premises liability, products liability and workers’ compensation. She is admitted to practice in all trial and appellate state courts in Tennessee, as well as the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

 

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