2016 Tennessee Code
Title 50 - Employer and Employee
Chapter 6 - Workers' Compensation Law
Part 2 - Claims and Payment of Compensation
§ 50-6-240. Approval or rejection of settlement agreements. [Applicable to injuries occurring on and after July 1, 2014.]

TN Code § 50-6-240 (2016) What's This?

First of 2 versions of this section

(a) The interested parties shall have the right to settle all matters of compensation between themselves, but all settlements shall be reduced to writing and shall be approved by a judge of the court of workers' compensation claims before they are binding on either party. It shall be the duty of the judge of the court of workers' compensation claims to whom any proposed settlement is presented for approval under this chapter, to examine the proposed settlement to determine whether the employee is receiving, substantially, the benefits provided by this chapter. Upon approving the settlement, a judgment shall be rendered on the settlement by the court of workers' compensation claims and duly entered by the clerk. The cost of the proceeding shall be borne by the employer. In all cases where the settlement proceedings or any other court proceedings for workers' compensation under this chapter involve a subsequent injury wherein the employee would be entitled to receive or is claiming compensation from the second injury fund provided for in ยง 50-6-208, the administrator shall be made a party defendant to the proceedings in an action filed by either the employer or the injured employee, and an attorney representing the bureau under the supervision of the attorney general and reporter shall represent the administrator in the proceeding. The court of workers' compensation claims, by its decree, shall determine the right of the employee to receive compensation from the fund.

(b) A workers' compensation judge shall approve or reject settlements submitted to the bureau within three (3) business days after the settlement has been received by the bureau and assigned to a workers' compensation judge for consideration.

(c) In approving settlements, a workers' compensation judge shall consider all pertinent factors and if the injured employee is not represented by counsel, then the workers' compensation judge shall thoroughly inform the employee of the scope of benefits available under this chapter and the employee's rights and the procedures necessary to protect those rights.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the parties from compromising and settling the issue of future medical benefits at any time; provided, that the settlement agreement is approved by a judge of the court of workers' compensation claims, and includes a provision confirming that the employee has been informed of the potential consequences of the settlement, if any, with respect to medicare and TennCare benefits and liabilities. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an employee who is determined to be permanently and totally disabled shall not be allowed to compromise and settle the employee's rights to future medical benefits.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, if there is a dispute between the parties as to whether a claim is compensable, or as to the amount of compensation due, the parties may settle the matter without regard to whether the employee is receiving substantially the benefits provided by this chapter; provided, that the settlement is determined by a workers' compensation judge to be in the best interest of the employee.

(f) No party may settle a claim for permanent disability benefits unless the settlement agreement has been approved by a workers' compensation judge. Any settlement agreement not approved pursuant to this section is void.

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