David M. Drobny Secures Defense Verdict During Expedited Hearing and on Appeal Based on the “Safety” Defense

Posted on October 4, 2016 at 1:21 pm

In Sevilla-Palma, Norvin v. Wauford Air Conditioning, Inc., Manier & Herod Attorney David M. Drobny secured a defense verdict at an Expedited Hearing and on appeal to the Workers Compensation Appeals Board. Following an expedited hearing, the trial court issued an order denying the employee’s claim for benefits and determining that at a hearing on the merits, the employer would likely establish that the employee willfully failed to use a safety device in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-110(a)(4) (2015). The employee filed an appeal, but failed to provide a transcript of the trial court proceedings. The Appeals Board affirmed, noting that the trial court’s findings and conclusions are presumed correct unless the preponderance of evidence is otherwise. The court also noted that the trial court had made explicit findings as to the credibility of witnesses. In the absence of any evidence to show that the preponderance of evidence did not support the trial court’s conclusion, the Appeals Board affirmed the trial court’s determination.

A copy of the Appeals Board’s opinion may be found here: https://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_workerscomp/516/