NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.
Select a state from the dropdown menu below to scroll through the state specific archives for updates and opinions on various workers’ compensation laws in your state.
Contact information for NWCDN members is also located on the state specific links in the event you have additional questions or your company is seeking a workers’ compensation lawyer in your state.
Tennessee Returns to In-Person Settlements
Since the establishment of the Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims in 2014, the Court followed a strict rule that settlement approval hearings should be conducted in-person. Telephone hearings were only permitted under extraordinary circumstances. Workers’ Compensation Judges have a duty to ensure that settlements provide injured workers with substantially the benefits to which they are entitled under Tennessee law, and to ensure that settlements are in the injured workers’ best interests. The Court has long believed that in-person settlement approval hearings were the best way to fulfill this duty, since it allowed Judges to see the workers, listen to them, and observe their non-verbal communication.
Of course, that was until the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic forced the Court to quickly change direction and to start conducting settlement approval hearings by telephone. Though not as effective as in-person hearings, they were a necessity under the circumstances.
Fortunately, effective April 4, 2022, the Court will return to in-person settlement approvals. This will be the primary method for settlement approvals, just like before the pandemic. Exceptions will be made only upon request and for good cause shown.
The Court has rolled out the procedure for scheduling in-person settlement approval hearings at each of the Court’s offices throughout the state of Tennessee. For more detail, see the Court’s recent announcement via Blog: https://wccourt.com/2022/03/15/returning-to-in-person-settlements-2/
For any questions, please contact:
Fredrick R. Baker, Member
Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones, PLLC
1420 Neal Street, Suite 201
P.O. Box 655
Cookeville, TN 38503-0655