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North Carolina Workers’ Comp Defense Blog

 

FAQ: How Does COVID-19 Affect Current WC Claims?

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If a WC Claimant refuses medical treatment due to COVID-19 contamination fears, can benefits be cut off?  Under NC Law (NCGS 97-25(d)), Defendants cannot unilaterally suspend or terminate benefits if the claimant refuses medical treatment offered by Defendants. The statute provides: The refusal of the employee to accept any medical compensation when ordered by the […]

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COVID-19: No Workers’ Compensation Coverage in NC

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There is no longer any question about whether the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will affect North Carolina employers and employees.  It will … and probably in ways that cannot be fully predicted.  Its invasion has begun, and all North Carolinians must transition from preparing for the contagion, to actively fighting it, and then, to recovering from it.  Somewhere along the way, […]

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What’s fair and just is a must

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The Plaintiff worked as a part-time nurse’s assistant, where she earned $8.00 per hour.  She received a promotion in February of 2011, where she worked full time with a single patient and earned $10.00 per hour.  On the first day in her new position, February 10, 2011, the patient pushed the Plaintiff down the stairs.  As a result […]

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Realizing Retiree Comp Rates

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When using an AWW from employment other than that which caused the injury is actually appropriate. Plaintiff was last injuriously exposed to asbestos at a time when his comp rate would have been $600.00. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma approximately 15 years later, after retiring. His average weekly wage during his post-retirement, part-time employment would have resulted in a […]

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Exceptions When Traveling To And From Work

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Analyzing the Coming and Going Rule and Its Exceptions In Wright v. Alltech Wiring & Controls, the Court of Appeals reviewed the Contractual Duty exception to the Coming and Going Rule. The employee had duties which required him to visit client job sites for estimates of security system installation. The employee would, on most days, […]

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Are You a “Special” Employer?

When an appellate opinion includes words like joint employment, special employer, general employer, lent employee, or borrowed servant, it usually means that the parties have a fundamental difference of opinion about the exact nature of their work relationship. And, the nature of the parties’ work relationship also determines whether an injury claim belongs at the […]

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“A Right to Privacy?”

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What privacy rights is a Plaintiff afforded for the medical information related to a workers’ compensation claim? Mastanduno v. Nat’l Freight Industries The opinion arose from an interlocutory appeal by the plaintiff regarding his privacy interests in personal medical information in Industrial Commission records and decisions. The plaintiff was a truck driver who slipped and […]

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NC Supreme Court Declines Review of Court of Appeal Decision requiring Expert Evidence in Occupational Disease Claims

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On September 20, 2018 the Supreme Court declined a petition for discretionary review of the North Carolina Court of Appeals decision in the matter of  Briggs v. Debbie’s Staffing, Inc., 812 S.E.2d 706, 707 (N.C. Ct. App.), review dismissed, 818 S.E.2d 274 (N.C. 2018), and review denied, 818 S.E.2d 277 (N.C. 2018). As a result, […]

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Court Order Leads to Changes at the Industrial Commission

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After taking office, Governor Cooper filed a lawsuit against the NC General Assembly and Chairman Allen and Commissioner Stith of the NC Industrial Commission challenging on constitutional grounds to changes to NCIC appointment provisions.  One provision the legislature changed was to remove from the incoming governor, Governor Cooper, the authority to appoint the Chair and […]

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Accidents can be Aggravating

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Allocating fault when Plaintiff has pre-existing conditions and is involved in two accidents Stippich v. Reese’s Transit, Inc. In this case, Plaintiff sustained injuries to his back and neck when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident arising out of and in the course of his employment with Defendant-Employer in October of 2014.  He […]

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Discretion to Adjudicate an Issue

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May the Commission Determine Issues Not Mentioned By the Parties Haulcy v. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. On April 23, 2014, Plaintiff was maneuvering a 55-pound tire at work when she felt pain in her lower back.  Plaintiff began working modified duty on April 24, 2014.  Defendant-Employer (“Goodyear”) had a 90-day modified duty policy.  […]

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Industrial Commission Update

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Opinion and Awards to be E-mailed – The Industrial Commission announced that beginning on January 2, 2018 workers’ compensation Opinions and Awards will be served via email. The change affects all parties that are represented by attorney’s. The Opinion and Awards will be sent via email to the attorney of record for each party. The […]

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Money Talks

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Determining the Proper Average Weekly Wage Calculations to Use  This claim arose from an occupational shoulder injury claim made by a violist in December of 2013.  The claim was accepted and the only contested issue was the proper calculation for determining Plaintiff’s average weekly wage.  Plaintiff worked 36 of the 52 weeks prior to her […]

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Groundbreaking—IRS makes things complicated

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Employers who adhere to certain IRS guidelines may face much lower indemnity payments for employees who traveled for work pre-injury Myres v. Strom Aviation, Inc.  (16-558) In companies where employees regularly travel away from home to work, a big-ticket item on an employee’s paycheck is almost always the reimbursement they are paid for meals, travel, […]

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