Case Updates

“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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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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Measuring Futility to Work: Sufficiency of Evidence to Prove Disability Under Wilkes

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In Neckles v. Harris Teeter, 812 S.E.2d 178 (2018) the Court of Appeals reconsidered a determination that the Employee proved, based on the evidence, that he continued to be totally disabled. The case was reconsidered after Defendants’ successful petition for discretionary review for the limited purpose of remanding to the Court of Appeals in light […]

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Average Weekly Wage – Fair and Just?

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The Ball v. Bayada Home Health Center, __ N.C. App. ___, (2017),  decision is a good reminder that N.C.G.S. § 97-2(5) provides five different methods to calculate average weekly wage, depending on the facts and circumstances of each claim.  Determining average weekly wage must be fair and just, meaning that the calculation must reflect what […]

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Waiving Legal Arguments

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In Bentley v. Jonathan Piner Construction, the N.C. Court of Appeals addressed when a legal issue would be deemed waived by a party.  The Court also addressed whether an injured worker was an independent contractor or employee at the time of his accident, and whether the Defendant was a statutory employer. In Bentley, Plaintiff suffered […]

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State Legislature and Governor Work Quickly to Overturn Wilkes

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On July 20, 2017, Governor Cooper signed into law House Bill 26. The Bill, which passed unanimously in the State Legislature, addressed and reversed portions of the recent Supreme Court decision, Wilkes v. City of Greenville. The Bill was in response to the Court’s determination that the workers’ compensation Parsons presumption applies to any injury […]

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Time Bars for Medical Compensation and Evidence Bars for Indemnity Benefits

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Capen Trucer Carl Anders, II v. Universal Leaf North America In Capen Trucer Carl Anders, II v. Universal Leaf North America, No. COA 16-910, the Plaintiff appealed an Industrial Commission decision denying his claim for additional medical and indemnity benefits allegedly related to a prior compensable injury.  The Court of Appeals analyzed the limitations period […]

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Case Summary: Joint Employment Doctrine

NC Workers Comp Law Updates

Whicker v. Compass Group USA, Inc./Crothall Services Group, Employer; Self-Insured (Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc., Administrator); and Novant Health, Inc., Alleged Joint Employer, Self-Insured, Defendants. NC Court of Appeals Opinion filed April 5, 2016. This is a case addressing the Joint Employment doctrine.  The Court of Appeals analyzed each element of the doctrine that must be […]

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Case Summary: Subrogation Rights /Liens on Third Party Settlement

NC Workers Comp Law Updates

David Easter-Rozelle v. City of Charlotte (N.C. Ct. of Appeals, 12/1/15) This is a significant case concerning defendants’ subrogation rights and recovery of the third party lien. Defendants should always assert potential workers’ comp liens and plaintiffs have an obligation to notify defendants of third-party claims. Plaintiff sustained compensable injuries to his neck and shoulder on […]

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Case Update: Attendant Care/Attorney Fees Case

NC Workers Comp Law Updates

Connie Chandler v. Atlantic Scrap and Processing (NC Ct. of Appeals, 12/1/15) Plaintiff sustained a compensable head and neck injury on August 11, 2003 as a result of a fall at work.  In addition to her physical injuries, plaintiff also developed depression and cognitive impairments secondary to post-concussive syndrome.  During the course of her treatment […]

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