Presentation on theme: "Tennessee’s New Court of Workers’ Compensation: Introduction to Procedures Ken Switzer, Chief Workers’ Compensation Judge Penny Shrum, Court Clerk Lisa."— Presentation transcript:
1 Tennessee’s New Court of Workers’ Compensation: Introduction to Procedures Ken Switzer, Chief Workers’ Compensation Judge Penny Shrum, Court Clerk Lisa Knott, WC Judge and Moderator
2 The Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims Chief Judge Kenneth M. SwitzerTennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation ClaimsPenny Shrum, Court Clerk
6 Administrative Structure Division of Workers’ Compensation includes:Ombudsman ProgramCourt of Workers’ Compensation ClaimsBoard of Workers’ Compensation AppealsCurrent programs will continue to operate for existing claims.
7 The Ombudsman ProgramWill provide education and assistance to any party to a workers’ compensation claim that is not represented by an attorney.Will be staffed by persons trained in Tennessee Workers’ Compensation law and rules of the various programs.An ombudsman is not an attorney, cannot provide legal advice, and cannot sign documents on behalf of a party.Administrator7
8 Duties of the Ombudsman The ombudsman will have the basic responsibilities of:Advising parties of the basics of workers’ compensation laws and proceduresAnswering the questions of partiesAssisting parties in the completion of formsActing as a liaison among the parties to ensure communication among parties and efficiency in the administration of claimsAdministrator8
10 Gone with the Wind Benefit Review Conference (BRC) Request for Assistance (RFA)Commissioner’s DesigneeAdministrative Review
11 Words that Work Petition for Benefit Determination (PBD) Dispute Certification Notice (DCN)Expedited HearingInitial HearingAlternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) MediationInterlocutory OrderCompensation OrderDecision on the Record
17 Petition for Benefit Determination (PBD) Tells us there is a dispute.Purpose: Not just to toll the statute.Must be served on opposing party.
18 Mediation Requirements A party with authority to settle must attend the mediation.Mediation will be scheduled whenever either party files a Petition for Benefit Determination (PBD) with the Division.
19 Mediation Proceedings After PBD is filed parties must:Promptly exchange all medical records – update within 14 days after receipt of additional records.Employer must file a wage statement w/in 5 days.Division contacts parties to schedule mediation – same as always.Mediation can be in person, telephonically or by video conference.
20 Dispute Certification Notice (DCN) If parties do not settle – mediator prepares and issues Dispute Certification Notice certifying disputed issues for trial – no hearing in Court without DCN.Parties have five days to object to contents of DCN.
23 Initial HearingsInitial hearing within 30 days after request for hearing is filed.If no request for hearing filed w/in 60 days after DCN submitted to clerk – case placed on dismissal docket and set for show cause hearing.Request for Hearing can be in any format; however, a template will be provided.Catastrophic cases get priority on docket.Clerk will send notice setting initial hearing date and time, identifying the Judge, and specifying items to be completed before the hearing.
24 Catastrophic Injury Paralysis Amputations Traumatic Brain Injury Burns – Second or Third DegreeBlindness (total)Deafness (total)
25 Initial Hearings Discovery plan and a scheduling calendar. Division will provide template for Initial Hearing order.Initial hearings will likely be telephonic or by video conference (only under rare circumstances will this be in person).Important: Post Discovery Mediation AND Compensation Hearing Date will be set by this Order.
26 Expedited HearingsHearing on temporary disability or medical benefits only.Either party may request expedited hearing after case is docketed.Party requesting hearing must provide affidavits to support position. (Note: Medical records allowed by a certification of same: See Rule 16 Discovery 6(b).)Opposing party may provide countervailing evidence w/in 5 days and indicate the need for an evidential hearing.Judge can decide if hearing necessary or enter an Order.Standard: Is the employee likely to prevail on the merit of the claim?Temporary benefit order is interlocutory and may be appealed to WC Appeals Board within seven days.
27 DiscoveryIn General will operate in accordance with rules of Civil Procedure, except:20 interrogatory limit unless judge gives leave for moreFour hour time limit for depositionNo answers required until after initial hearing order has been signedNo hearing for discovery disputes unless ordered by judge (will be reviewed based on written materials).
30 CWCC ProceedingsMedical records and a prehearing statement must be filed with court 10 business days before trial.Hearings will be conducted under the Rules of Civil Procedure & Evidence (Expedited Included).
31 CWCC ProceedingsAny compensation order issued by a WC judge shall become final and appealable to the Supreme Court after thirty calendar days unless an appeal is filed with the Board of Appeals. If no appeal is filed, the parties shall have five business days after the order becomes final to comply.If an appeal is filed to Board of Appeals, the decision of the WC judge shall not become final until certified by the Board.
32 SettlementsNo settlement shall be binding until approved by a WC judge.A fee of $150 shall be due at the time of settlement or final order. Fees may be paid by check or credit card.All settlements shall be approved within three business days of submission and assignment to a judge. T.C.A. § (b)A WC judge may approve a signed settlement agreement upon determining that the employee is receiving substantially the benefits provided by the WC law and/or upon finding that the settlement is in the employee’s best interest.Settlement approvals will be in person but may be conducted telephonically in unusual circumstances.
36 Filing Process for Expedited Hearing Petition for Benefit Determination (local office)Dispute Certification Notice (prepared by mediator)Request For Expedited HearingImmediately Assign to a JudgeDocument Filings (medical records and prehearing statements)
37 Filing Process for Non-Expedited Hearing Petition for Benefit Determination (local office)Dispute Certification Notice (prepared by mediator)Request For HearingInitial HearingPost Discovery Mediation (local office)
38 Assignment to Judges by Clerk AndersonBedfordBentonBledsoeBlountBradleyCampbellCannonCarrollCarterCheathamChesterClaiborneClayCockeCoffeeCrockettCumberlandDavidsonDecaturDe KalbDicksonDyerFayetteFentressFranklinGibsonGilesGraingerGreeneGrundyHamblenHamiltonHancockHardemanHardinHawkinsHaywoodHendersonHenryHickmanHoustonHumphreysJacksonJeffersonJohnsonKnoxLakeLauderdaleLawrenceLewisLincolnLoudonMcMinnMcNairyMadisonMarionMarshallMauryMeigsMonroeMontgomeryMooreMorganObionOvertonPerryPickettPolkPutnamRheaRoaneRobertsonRutherfordScottSequatchieSevierShelbySmithStewartSullivanSumnerTiptonTrousdaleUnicoiUnionVan BurenWarrenWashingtonWayneWeakleyWhiteWilliamsonWilsonMaconMemphisOne Commerce Square40 South Main St, Suite 500Telephone:Fax:Nashville--Metro Center220 French Landing Dr.Nashville, TN 37243Telephone:Fax:Cookeville444-A Neal StreetCookeville, TN 3850Telephone:Fax:Knoxville520 Summit Hill, Suite 103Knoxville, TN 37902Telephone:Fax:AdministratorJackson225 Dr. MLK Drive, 1st FlJackson, TNTelephone:Fax:Murfreesboro845 Esther LaneMurfreesboro, TN 37219Telephone:Fax:Chattanooga (moving in late Fall)540 McCallie Ave, Ste W600Chattanooga, TN 37402Telephone:Fax:Kingsport1908 Bowater DriveKingsport, TNTelephone:Fax:
39 website: state.tn.us/labor-wfd/wcomp.shtml Contact InformationChief Judge Kenneth M. SwitzerJudge Brian AddingtonJudge Joshua BakerJudge Lisa KnottJudge Pamela JohnsonJudge Allen PhillipsJudge Jim UmstedJudge Thomas WyattPenny Shrum, Court ClerkOmbudsman Programwebsite: state.tn.us/labor-wfd/wcomp.shtml