Lewis v. N.C. Department of Correction (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-08-0575, 17 pp.) (Tammy R. Nance, Commissioner) I.C. No. 265472
Holding: Twenty years ago, plaintiff’s compensable post-traumatic stress disorder aggravated his diabetes, leading to permanent injury to multiple body parts and systems. Since (1) plaintiff’s condition has stabilized, (2) he has other sources of income, (3) he wishes to bring an end to the offset of his Social Security Disability benefits, (4) he needs help to pay off his mortgages and other debts, and (5) he recognizes that his longevity is “somewhat impaired,” the Industrial Commission finds that this is an unusual case and that it would be in plaintiff’s best interest for his permanent partial disability benefits to be paid in a lump sum.
Defendant shall pay plaintiff a lump sum of $95,000 for permanent injury to important organs and body parts, less a credit for temporary total disability benefits that were paid after plaintiff reached maximum medical improvement on Nov. 19, 2009, and subject to a reasonable attorney’s fee of 25 percent of the lump sum after deduction of the credit. Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration of the Commission’s award of $15 per hour for attendant care beginning Sept. 18, 2009 is granted. Compensation for attendant care is denied.
Because the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, immune system, labrynthine sense, tactile sense, and somatognosis sense have not been shown to be internal or external organs or important body parts, and because the importance of these systems and senses is not evident in the record, plaintiff’s claim for benefits under G.S. §97-31(24) for these systems and senses is denied.
Plaintiff’s meals are already prepared for him at the Rice Diet Center, at considerable expense to defendant. A home health aide to prepare additional meals is not a reasonable and necessary medical expense or rehabilitative service.
Laundry, lawn care, and house cleaning are ordinary expenses of life which members of a family, including spouses, perform in the normal course of maintaining a household, or pay someone else to perform. These types of expenses are not reasonable and necessary medical expenses or rehabilitative services.