Oral arg. – Ct. of App. – Feb. 18, 2015

At 2:30 p.m. the Court of Appeals will hear argument in Walls v. Franklin Corp., a bad faith workers comp. case.

Walls was working for Franklin Corporation when she injured her back in 1984. She  had a partial laminectomy and fusion at L-4.  In 1992, an ALJ of the Workers’ Comp. Commission ordered that her employer and its insurer  pay temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and pay for all reasonable medical services.  According to Walls, the defendants failed to pay for all reasonable medical services forcing Walls to file her bad faith lawsuit. The insurer  then filed in the workers comp. case  a motion to determine the reasonableness of her medical treatment and the circuit court case was dismissed. The dismissal was appealed, and the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s dismissal.  On cert., the Miss.S.Ct. held that Walls must first exhaust her administrative remedies before the Workers’ Comp. Commission before she could maintain a bad faith action for refusal to pay for disputed medical services and supplies.

The ALJ at the Commission held that the shoes and whirlpool bath were medically reasonable and necessary, that the costs of the shoes and whirlpool bath were reasonable, and that “Sylvia, as the Carrier’s agent, approved the purchase of the shoes and the purchase and installation of the whirlpool bath at Mrs. Walls’ house.”

In 2002, Walls  refiled her bad faith action in the Circuit Court of Chickasaw County.   The court held that Walls could sue only for bad faith occurring after the ALJ’s  ruling on April 10, 2002.  A jury found for the insurer and Walls appealed.

Walls’ brief.

Employer and Insurer’s brief.

Walls’ reply brief. 

Argument can be viewed here.

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