Tennessee Court Denies COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Claim for Late Filing (Business Insurance)

Tennessee Court Denies COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Claim for Late Filing

  Tuesday, April 9th, 2024 Source: Business Insurance

In a notable decision, the Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims dismissed a claim by Darold Swanson, a worker alleging injury from COVID-19 contracted at work. Swanson’s claim was dismissed primarily due to the late filing of his workers’ compensation benefits request, alongside issues related to his cooperation with mediation processes and failure to provide medical records. Swanson, who asserted that he faced severe health complications such as atrial fibrillation and blood clots due to the virus, had been hospitalized multiple times in the intensive care unit.

The ruling highlighted procedural discrepancies, including Swanson’s failure to appear at a scheduled hearing and his inability to specify the nature and duration of his incapacity. Furthermore, the court emphasized that Swanson did not adequately justify his delay in filing the claim within the one-year deadline from the injury date. This decision underscores the critical importance of timely action and cooperation in workers’ compensation cases, particularly those related to COVID-19, a relatively new area in workers’ compensation litigation.

The dismissal of Swanson’s case with prejudice prevents any possibility of refiling the same claim, setting a precedent for similar future cases involving COVID-19 and workplace injury claims. This ruling not only brings attention to the challenges workers face in proving COVID-19 related injuries but also stresses the legal intricacies surrounding workers’ compensation claims amid the pandemic.

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