Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility


May 2, 2018

Administrative – State disability findings may deserve substantial weight

An administrative law judge erred in according little weight to a North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services determination that the Social Security claimant qualified as disabled. The ALJ also did not properly consider the limited extent to which the claimant could perform daily activities. Background Billie Jean Woods appeals the Social Security Administration’s […]

Mar 13, 2018

Workers’ Compensation – Disability – Futility – Manual Laborer – Lifting Restriction

Holding: Plaintiff produced evidence that it would be futile for him to seek work. Since defendant’s vocational expert did not take into account that plaintiff is a 55-year-old manual laborer with a limited education and lifting restrictions, defendant has failed to show that there are jobs that plaintiff could get. We remand the Industrial Commission’s […]

Sep 12, 2017

Workers’ Compensation – Disability – Restrictions & Limitations – Truck Driver

Carter v. Barnes Transportation (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-136-17, 18 pp.) (Lucy Inman, J.) Appealed from the Industrial Commission. N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: Although the Industrial Commission muddled a doctor’s distinctions between permanent work “restrictions” and the “limitations” that plaintiff would have if he returned to work, we are aware of no authority that precludes the […[...]

Jan 12, 2017

Workers’ Compensation – Disability – Job Search Futility – Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist’s Testimony – Other Evidence

Neckles v. Harris Teeter (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-016-17, 12 pp.) (Ann Marie Calabria, J.) Appealed from the Industrial Commission. N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: Even though a vocational rehabilitation specialist testified only that it would be “difficult” to place plaintiff in a job, the Industrial Commission erred when it limited its conclusion regarding disability to this […]

Jan 3, 2017

Workers’ Compensation – Disability – Form 63 – Medical Only – Futility

O’Neal v. Inline Fluid Power, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 010-008-17, 1 p.) (Per Curiam) Appealed from the Industrial Commission. On discretionary review from the Court of Appeals. N.C. S. Ct. Holding: We improvidently granted discretionary review of the Court of Appeals’ unpublished decision (The legislature has always provided for two distinct components of a workers’ […]

Nov 9, 2016

Civil Rights – Plaintiff Says Shelters Barred Her for Mental Disability

Thomas v. The Salvation Army Southern Territory (Lawyers Weekly No. 001-155-16, 21 pp.) (Wilkinson, J.) No. 14-2214, Nov. 8, 2016; USDC at Charlotte, N.C. (Conrad, J.) 4th Cir. Holding: A woman who claims defendant charitable organizations unlawfully refused to admit her to homeless shelters because of her alleged mental health disability has failed to state […]

Nov 8, 2016

Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Military Disability – Retirement Benefits

Scott v. Scott (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-211-16, 4 pp.) (Richard Dietz, J.) Appealed from Cumberland County District Court (Laura Devan, J.) N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: The trial court erred when it lumped the defendant-husband’s military retirement pay and disability pay together for purposes of equitable distribution. Federal military disability benefits cannot be classified as marital […]

Oct 20, 2016

Workers’ Compensation – Disability – Post-Hearing Evidence – Causation – Weak Evidence

Watson v. Johnston County Emergency Services (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-200-16, 11 pp.) (Richard Dietz, J.) Appealed from the Industrial Commission. N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: It is true that, in Carothers v. Ti-Caro, 83 N.C. App. 301, 350 S.E.2d 95 (1986), this court held that, in reviewing a workers’ compensation claim, the Industrial Commission “is concerned […]

Oct 6, 2016

Insurance – Disability – Benefit Increase Offers – Denied Claim

Slice-Sadler v. Principal Life Insurance Co. (Lawyers Weekly No. 003-016-16, 9 pp.) (Loretta Biggs, J.) 1:15-cv-00216; M.D.N.C. Holding: The defendant-insurer continued to offer plaintiff benefit increases (in return for increased premiums) while it was denying her claim for benefits arising from her Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and plaintiff accepted those offers. Defendant may not renege on those [&h[...]

Sep 13, 2016

Workers’ Compensation – Disability – Job Search – Futility – Defense Rebuttal

McLean v. Baker Sand & Gravel (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-179-16, 18 pp.) (Wanda Bryant, J.) Appealed from the Industrial Commission. N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: Even given plaintiff’s narrow work experience – as a farmhand in his youth and 30 years as a truck driver –his lack of a high school diploma or GED, and his […]

Aug 15, 2016

Workers’ Compensation – Benefits Termination – Mediated Settlement – Physician’s Release – Disability

Hale v. Barnes Distribution (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-155-16, 7 pp.) (Richard Dietz, J.) Appealed from the Industrial Commission. N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: Although plaintiff argues that workers’ compensation benefits cannot be terminated without approval following a hearing, here, the parties entered into a mediated settlement agreement, approved by the Industrial Commission, which provided that [...]

Jun 22, 2016

Administrative – Disability Claim Remanded for Functional Analysis

Monroe v. Colvin (Lawyers Weekly No. 001-104-16, 34 pp.) (Traxler, J.) No. 15-1098, June 16, 2016; USDC at Wilmington, N.C. (Flanagan, J.) 4th Cir. Holding: The 4th Circuit reverses denial of disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income for a 32-year-old man who suffers from back pain, breathing and memory problems, anxiety, depression and blackouts; […]

Top Legal News

See All Top Legal News


See All Commentary