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Industrial Commission

Nov 7, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Compensable Injury — Subsequent Injury — Relation Back — Medical Certainty

Chaffins v. Tar Heel Capital Corp. At issue in this workers’ compensation action is whether the plaintiff’s injuries to her shoulder and neck are the compensable result of a fall that occurred while she was getting into her car on Oct. 7, 2010 and are the “direct and natural result” of her admittedly compensable employment-related injury suffered on Aug. 1, 2002.

Oct 15, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Insurance – Expiration – No ‘Refusal to Renew’ – First Impression

Zaldana v. Smith Since the defendant-employer’s one-year workers’ compensation policy did not address renewal, and since the employer never asked the defendant-carrier to renew the policy, the carrier did not “refuse to renew” the policy, so the carrier was not required to follow statutory or policy procedures that apply when there is a refusal to renew.

Aug 21, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Voluntary Dismissal – Untimely Re-Filing – No Excusable Neglect

Nieto-Espinoza v. Lowder Construction, Inc. After plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his workers’ compensation claim without prejudice, a paralegal at plaintiff’s counsel’s firm mistakenly noted the dismissal order date. When plaintiff’s counsel failed to re-file within one year, the Industrial Commission properly concluded that this failure was not the result of excusable neglect. [...]

Jun 19, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Change of Condition – Insufficient Showing – Doctor’s Testimony

Wilhite v. Pike Electric, Inc. Although plaintiff’s doctor agreed with plaintiff’s counsel’s assertion that plaintiff was “100 percent” disabled, the doctor’s opinion on this point was not based solely upon plaintiff’s medical condition – which the doctor said was unchanged – or on the doctor’s medical expertise; rather, the doctor agreed with counsel’s assessment ba[...]

May 29, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Civil Practice – Interlocutory Appeal – Treating Physician – Motion to Change

Leake v. North Carolina Department of Correction Workers’ compensation is a statutory right, not a constitutional one

May 22, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Uninsured Employer – Settlement Agreement – Disapproval – Piercing the Corporate Veil – Attorney’s Fees

Allred v. Exceptional Landscapes, Inc. Even though G.S. § 97-94(b) appears to give an employee of an uninsured employer the option of suing under the Workers’ Compensation Act or “at law,” and even though the parties believed they were settling the employee’s claim “at law,” since the employee had already filed a claim with the Industrial Commission, the Commission had juris[...]

Apr 3, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Appeals – Time Limit Waiver – Disability – Causation – Medical Evidence — Migraines

Williams v. Bank of America Although defendants did not strictly comply with the time limitations in Industrial Commission Rule 701, the Commission had discretion to allow defendants’ appeal to go forward.

Mar 27, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Termination – Constructive Refusal – Progressive Warnings

Antelo v. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. The Industrial Commission found plaintiff “to be credible in his account of the circumstances of his termination

Mar 14, 2013

Workers’ Compensation Medical Testimony – Back Surgery Recommendation – Causation – Depression

Moore v. Bell Senior Living The Industrial Commission gave several reasons, in addition to a defense witness’s possible reliance on an article, for giving more weight to the opinion of plaintiff’s witness. We affirm the Commission’s award of benefits, including back surgery. Defense witness Dr. Lacin’s testimony can be read as indicating that he read about a spine study[...]

Mar 6, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Average Weekly Wage – Successive Injuries – Disability

Helfrich v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated Plaintiff suffered four work-related injuries, and the Industrial Commission found that he was totally disabled by the last two; however, the Commission based plaintiff’s compensation rate on his average weekly wage at the time of his fourth injury (which was lower than his average weekly wage at the time of his third injury) without disc[...]

Feb 19, 2013

Report: NC fails to track, punish uninsured firms

The state agency that decides how thousands of people are compensated for workplace injuries does a poor job of making sure companies obey a law requiring them to carry insurance, the state's internal government watchdog reported Tuesday.

May 27, 2011

Tort/Negligence – Industrial Commission – Medical Malpractice – Rule 9(j)

Stevenson v. N.C. Dep't of Correction A medical malpractice claim against a state agency filed under the Tort Claims Act must comply with N.C. R. Civ. P. 9(j), which requires a showing that an expert will testify that care was substandard or that there was negligence under res ipsa loquitur. We affirm the dismissal of the complaint without prejudice; we also remand for correction of cl[...]

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