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Workers Comp Judges Ruin Tennessee Workers Comp System

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Bad Decisions By Tennessee Workers Comp Judges

In Tennessee Workers Comp system the Workers Comp judges made a few questionable decisions. A recent decision by a Tennessee Circuit Court judge may cause a landslide of permanent total disability cases. This is the second horrible court ruling I have seen in the last three weeks. This decision comes right after Tennessee has made makes great strides in controlling their medical costs.

Picture Of Gavel Workers Comp Judges With Blurry Background
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A General Motors employee is entitled to greater benefits than typically allowed because of the automaker’s restructuring under bankruptcy reorganization. The injured employee should have received eight years of workers compensation benefits at a maximum. The cap applies if the employee returns to work for the company where he or she was injured. The cap can be lifted, however, if the employee loses his or her job or the company changes ownership.

According to an article in Business Insurance – a Marshall County, Tenn., Circuit Court judge agreed with the workers comp claimant, essentially ruling that the cap should be lifted because GM filed for bankruptcy and formed a new company called General Motors Co. and known as the New GM. The case is expected to go to trial in January, but GM’s attorneys have told him they plan to appeal the decision lifting the cap. Friday’s ruling could affect hundreds of worker injury cases.

Man Wearing Neck Brace Workers Comp Judges In Hospital
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If this case is allowed to stand, there would be a breakdown in the way that premiums were charged to employers in the normal insurance market. Often, I take the opposite view of the insurance carriers. This is one time that I can understand their concern. Workers Compensation policies were not charged for these extra long benefit payouts.

How does the insurance market respond to these unjustified adverse decisions for which they were not allowed to charged premiums? They will either increase their rates or quit writing business in the state of Tennessee. This will cause the market to harden and all of the medical costs controls in place will be nullified. I, the employers, and insurance carriers hope this will all be corrected on appeal.

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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