Trial Notebook : Appeals – Supersedeas Effective of

Where an employee refuses to return to authorized treating physician after being ordered by an ALJ to do so and there is an appeal to the full Board, the doctrine of supersedeas did not attach to the ALJ's order and the appeal did not require the employer to reinstate temporary total disability benefits. "When an appeal of a workers' compensation award is filed, supersedeas does normally attach to the award, which generally relieves the employer from paying the award until the award is finally affirmed." City of Macon v. Whittington, 42 Ga. App. 622, 157 S.E. 127 (1931). However, the specific governing statute here speaks to the concept of when a suspension order is in effect, and including the period of any appeal.

O.C.G.A. § 34-9-202(c) provides: If the employee refuses to submit himself to or in any way obstruct such examination requested by and provided for by the employer, his right to compensation and his right to take or prosecute any proceedings under this chapter shall be suspended until such refusal or objection ceases; and no compensation shall at any time be payable for the period of suspension unless in the opinion of the Board the circumstances justify the refusal of or obstruction. The court holds that the legislature has already mandated the policy decision for supersedeas not to attach pending the appeal of a benefit suspension order based on a refusal to undergo an examination. All cited in Goswick v. Murray County Board of Education, 281 Ga. App. 442, 646 S.E.2d 133 (2007).

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