A man injured when he fell while working at a chicken processing plant has agreed to a $3 million settlement and a nearly $700,000 Medicare set aside, his attorneys report.
Mark Sumwalt of Sumwalt Anderson Law Firm in Charlotte and H.W. “Sandy” Sanderson Jr. of Holland, Poole, Holland & Sanderson in Clinton report that on May 31, 2019, their client, in the course and scope of his employment as a superintendent at the factory, fell as he was carrying a tarp across the floor. The fall caused central cord syndrome, quadriparesis, and functional quadriplegia.
The plaintiff’s surgeries consisted of cervical laminectomy, internal fixation from C3 through C6, the attorneys said, and he has needed 24-hour care since he was released from the hospital in July 2019. After the insurance carrier denied the man’s claim, North Carolina Industrial Commission Deputy Commissioner William Peaslee determined that the claim was compensable, the attorneys said, awarding temporary total disability benefits and medical compensation, including payment to the plaintiff’s wife for 24-hour attendant care at the rate of $25 per hour.
After the defendant’s appealed, the plaintiff filed a second request for hearing to determine the amount of permanent partial disability benefits he was entitled to, but the case settled prior to oral arguments before the full commission.
Many of the case’s details have been withheld pursuant to a confidentiality agreement.
SETTLEMENT REPORT — WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
Amount: $3 million plus Medicare set aside of $682,015
Injuries alleged: Quadriplegia
Case name: Withheld
Court: North Carolina Industrial Commission
Judge: Deputy Commissioner William Peaslee (ordered award before parties settled)
Date of settlement: May 23
Most helpful experts: Dr. Patrick O’Brien (physical medicine and rehabilitation) and Cynthia Wilhelm, Ph.D. (certified life care planner)
Insurance carrier: Liberty Insurance Corporation
Attorneys for plaintiff: Mark Sumwalt of Sumwalt Anderson Law Firm in Charlotte and H.W. “Sandy” Sanderson Jr. of Holland, Poole, Holland & Sanderson in Clinton
Attorney(s) for defendant: Withheld