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Trial Court’s Refusal to Dismiss a Claim: Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board Summary, Linda Lawson v. HDK Industries Inc., et al.

Trial Court’s Refusal to Dismiss a Claim: Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board Summary, Linda Lawson v. HDK Industries Inc., et al.

April 20, 2017

By Courtney S. Paterson

Linda Lawson v. HDK Industries, Inc., et al.             

Docket No. 2016-02-0297      

State File No. 32360-2016

Filed March 31, 2017

Posture

This is a case before the Appeals Board on interlocutory appeal filed by the employer, HDK Industries, Inc., et al., and the dispute was whether the trial court abused its discretion by not dismissing the case after the employee, Linda Lawson, failed to show cause as to why the case should not be dismissed based on her failure to request a hearing.

Ms. Lawson alleged she sustained injuries on April 22, 2016, when she slipped and suffered an injury to her right leg and ankle while at work. She was taken to the hospital and administered a drug test, which came back positive for oxycodone. The employer then denied her claim and terminated her employment.

Ms. Lawson filed a petition for benefit determination. The parties were unable to resolve their dispute through mediation, and the mediator signed a dispute certification notice. An order was entered requiring the parties to appear to “show cause why this case should not be dismissed for failure to file a Request for Expedited Hearing or a Request for Scheduling Hearing within sixty (60) days.” The employer filed a Motion to Dismiss and for Sanctions, asserting Employee had failed to appear for her deposition, which had been scheduled by agreement and for which notice of deposition had been issued. The trial court conducted a show cause hearing and issued an order that same date declining to dismiss Ms. Lawson’s claim.

The appeals board affirmed the trial court’s decision, finding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to dismiss the employee’s claim.

 

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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