March 2007 – LOCAL WORKER ENDURES LONG LEGAL BATTLE TO GET BENEFITS
On March 8, 2007, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued the final opinion in a long and difficult legal battle endured by Gary W. Rogers of Winchester, Franklin County, Tennessee. MORE
Clifton Miller Mr. Rogers was a faithful employee of the Winchester Utility District for over 25 years. On June 13, 2000, Mr. Rogers came in contact with a chemical or microbe that almost took his life. He was subsequently hospitalized at Harton Hospital for 14 days. Mr. Rogers was ultimately diagnosed with adult onset Stills disease, which is a permanent condition with no apparent cure. Mr. Rogers’ medical treatment for this disease has been lengthy and difficult over the past 6 to 7 years.
On May 29, 2001, Mr. Rogers filed a complaint against his employer, Winchester Utilities and Tennessee Municipal League Risk Management Pool, in the Chancery Court of Franklin County, TN seeking workers compensation benefits for his work related sickness. Winchester Utility District denied that Mr. Rogers disease was work related and refused to pay Mr. Rogers any benefits. Mr. Rogers is represented by Clifton N. Miller with the law firm of Henry, McCord, Bean, Miller, Gabriel, Carter & LaBar, PLLC in Tullahoma, TN.
A ruling and judgment was issued by Chancellor Stewart in April, 2005. The Chancellor determined that Mr. Rogers’ disease was a work related injury and that Mr. Rogers was permanent and totally disabled. Mr. Rogers was awarded back pay, medical expenses and future disability benefits totaling in excess of $350,000.00.
Winchester Utilities appealed the Chancellor’s ruling to the Tennessee Supreme Court, Workers Compensation Panel. The Court issued an opinion on January 3, 2007 upholding the decision of the Trial Court. Winchester Utilities appealed the lower court’s decision to the full panel of the Tennessee Supreme Court. This Court issued and opinion on March 8, 2007 upholding the decision of the Trial Court and the lower appellate court.
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