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Tag Archives: death benefits

Workers’ Compensation – Extent of Disability – Hearing – Standing – Statute of Limitations – Death Benefits (access required)

Pait v. Southeastern General Hospital Once plaintiff reached maximum medical improvement, either party could seek a determination of permanent loss of wage-earning capacity; therefore, it was irrelevant that defendants’ motive in seeking a hearing was to start the running of the statute of limitations on a possible future death benefits claim.

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Workers’ Compensation – Death Benefits – Cause of Death – Drug Overdose – Independent Intervening Cause (access required)

Stout v. Pete Wall Plumbing Plaintiff’s decedent’s death was caused by an overdose of pain medication, some of which was prescribed to alleviate the pain from his compensable back injury. Plaintiff’s overuse of these medications was based on an intentional, although tragically misguided determination that such a repeated course of action would not produce the result that it ultimately did.

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Workers’ Compensation – Officers’ Exclusion – Death Benefits (access required)

Scotchie v. Scotchie Enterprises The decedent was shot and killed by a former employee of the defendant-employer. Since the decedent, as an officer of the defendant-employer, applied for and received a workers’ compensation insurance policy that expressly excluded him and two other officers from coverage, the decedent’s estate was not entitled to death benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

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Workers’ Compensation – Settlement Agreement – Asbestosis – Death Benefits – Statutory Time Limitations (access required)

Coffey v. Weyerhaeuser Where a worker reached a settlement agreement with his employer regarding compensation and weekly lifetime benefits for full and permanent disability due to occupational disease, the worker’s heirs are still held to the statutory standard - and barred from seeking death benefits when worker died more than two years after the agreement was signed, or six years after his original date of disability.

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Workers’ Compensation – Death Benefits – Timely Claim – Determination of Disability – Causation – Prescription Methadone – Liver Toxicity (access required)

Shaw v. US Airways, Inc. Where defendants paid temporary total disability to plaintiff’s decedent pursuant to an Industrial Commission Form 60 and subsequent Forms 62, this raised a presumption of disability but did not constitute a final determination of disability. Nothing in the record indicates that the decedent was paid anything other than temporary total disability benefits pursuant to Forms 60 and 62.

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Domestic Relations – Consent Order – Parent & Child – Death Benefits – Constructive Trust (access required)

Myers v. Myers A consent order’s requirement that the decedent-father name his third son as a 33 percent beneficiary of the “death benefits” from his employment unambiguously referred not only to the decedent’s life insurance but also to his retirement accounts. We affirm the imposition of a constructive trust on the death benefits from the decedent’s retirement accounts for the benefit of his youngest son, Travis.

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Workers’ Compensation – Death Benefits – Cab Driver – Independent Contractor (access required)

Lee v. City Cab of Tarboro Plaintiffs’ decedent leased a cab from the defendant-cab company, decedent had the freedom to decline a fare, and the cab company did not treat decedent as an employee with respect to workers’ compensation insurance and social security contributions. Although decedent was not allowed to hire assistants, she signed a non-compete agreement, and the nature of the work was non-specialized, the balance of the factors weighs in favor of finding that decedent was an independent contractor rather than an employee. We affirm the Industrial Commission’s finding that it lacked jurisdiction over plaintiffs’ claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

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Workers’ Compensation – Death Benefits – Course of Employment – ‘Pickrell’ Presumption (access required)

Gray v. United Parcel Services, Inc. A defense expert testified that decedent’s death was unrelated to his work and was the result of an acute cardiac event. The expert’s testimony was sufficient to rebut the Pickrell presumption that decedent’s death arose out of decedent’s employment, and the Industrial Commission failed to properly complete the remainder of the Pickrell analysis. We remand for a determination of whether the widow met her burden of proving that the death arose out of the course and scope of employment.

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