Mansell v. Bridgestone Firestone N.A. Tire, LLCAnnotate this Case
Employee suffered a right shoulder injury while working for Employer. After a benefit review conference in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development ended in an impasse, Employee filed suit for workers' compensation benefits. Prior to trial, Employer requested the appointment of an independent medical examiner pursuant to the medical impairment rating (MIR) process in Tenn. Code. Ann. 50-6-204(d)(5). Because the suit had already been filed, the trial court denied the request and subsequently awarded compensation to Employee. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment and remanded for consideration of the constitutionality of the MIR process. On remand, the trial court concluded (1) section 50-6-204(d)(5), which requires the courts to consider the opinion of an independent medical examiner under that section as presumptively accurate, is an unconstitutional infringement upon the powers of the judiciary; and (2) in the alternative, the statutory presumption was overcome in this case. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) the MIR process does not violate constitutional principles; and (2) the evidence in this case did not clearly and convincingly rebut the statutory presumption. Remanded.