Sonney Summers v. RTR Transportation Services et al.Annotate this Case
Authoring Judge: Robert E. Lee Davies, Sr. Judge
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert Durham
Employee Christine Summers was killed in the course and scope of her employment with
RTR Transportation Services. Employee's surviving spouse, Sonney Summers, filed a
claim for death benefits. The parties ultimately agreed that Mr. Summers was entitled to
death benefits. However, they disagreed regarding whether the death benefits should be
paid in a lump sum. They also disagreed regarding whether Mr. Summers's attorneys were
entitled to have their fees paid in a lump sum and whether attorneys' fees were recoverable
for burial expenses. The trial court determined that neither Mr. Summers's death benefits
nor the attorneys' fees should be commuted to a lump sum payment. The trial court also
found that attorneys' fees were not recoverable for burial expenses. The Workers'
Compensation Appeals Board affirmed. Employee has appealed, and the appeal has been
referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel for consideration and a
report of findings of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court
Rule 51. We affirm in part and reverse in part.