Cited Article

Pitfalls in Diagnosis of Occupational Lung Disease for Purposes of Compensation-- One Physician's Perspective

Case Citation

Lively ex rel. Lively v. Union Carbide Corp., No. E2012-02136-WC-R3-WC , 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 642, 2013 WL 4106697 (Tenn. Aug. 13, 2013)


Applying these principles, it is clear that in order for the Plaintiff to successfully establish the Employee's date of death as a new and separate date of injury, his incapacity for work in 1982 had to result from something other than asbestosis. The Plaintiff submits that the Employee's medical retirement was caused by one disease—occupational asthma—while the Employee's death was caused by a different work-related disease—asbestosis.10 The trial court, however, concluded from the evidence presented at trial that the Employee's medical retirement was the result of asbestosis, and, therefore, the Plaintiff's date of injury was the 1982 date. In our assessment, the stipulated evidence does not preponderate against those findings.11

Citing Quote

Moreover, asbestosis is often difficult to diagnose because its symptoms may resemble the symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, and other lung disorders. 13

Footnote 13

For a particularly insightful discussion of the difficulties in diagnosing various occupational lung diseases, see Lawrence Martin, Pitfalls in Diagnosis of Occupational Lung Disease for Purposes of Compensation—One Physician's Perspective, 13 J.L. & Health 49 (1998–1999). See also Asbestosis Diagnosis, The Mesothelioma Ctr., http:// (last updated Feb. 11, 2013) (“Asbestosis is an aggressive pulmonary disease that can be challenging to diagnose since symptoms resemble those of less serious conditions like asthma and pneumonia.”) [hereinafter Asbestosis Diagnosis].

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