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Tag Archives: Industrial Commission

Workers’ Compensation – Trial Return to Work – Unsuccessful – Unilateral Benefits Termination – Amended Rules – Sanctions (access required)

Baxter v. Danny Nicholson, Inc. Even though plaintiff did not file a Form 28U after his trial return to work proved unsuccessful, defendant already knew the trial return to work had been unsuccessful when it stopped paying plaintiff benefits. Defendant refused to reinstate those benefits even after a rules change and case law made clear that a Form 28U was not required before benefits were to be reinstated. We affirm the Industrial Commission's award of benefits, including accrued benefits, plus sanctions.

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Workers’ Compensation – Average Weekly Wage – Asbestosis – G.S. § 97-2(5) – G.S. § 97-54 (access required)

Pope v. Johns Manville. The commission should use one of the first four methods for calculating the claimant's average weekly wage set out G.S. § 97-2(5) unless it makes sufficient findings and conclusions to allow use of the fifth method set out in that statutory provision. We remand to the commission for reconsideration of the amount of weekly disability benefits to which the claimant is entitled, with instructions that the commission should reconsider the method of calculating the average weekly wage to be utilized in determining the claimant's weekly disability benefit payment and make any findings and conclusions that are necessary for the implementation of the calculation method that it ultimately deems appropriate.

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Workers’ Compensation – Attorney’s Fees – Unexplained Fall – Causation (access required)

Hedges v. Wake County Public School System. When an employee falls at work in the course of her duties, the injury is compensable even if the cause for the fall cannot be determined. Attorney's fees are awarded when a party continues to pursue a case that is not based on reasonable grounds. We affirm the decision of commission and the award of attorneys' fees to plaintiff.

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Dog owners seek more than fair market value for dead pet (access required)

A Jack Russell terrier named Laci is at the center of a case now before the N.C. Industrial Commission that could set a precedent on North Carolina animal law. Laci's owners sued N.C. State University's veterinary teaching hospital last year after their 12-year-old dog died in the ICU unit at the vet school. Attorney Calley Gerber (pictured with one of her dogs) of Raleigh is asking for $28,243 in damages.

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Workers’ Compensation – Accident – Causation – Permanent Total Disability – Exposure to Unknown Substance (access required)

Duckworth v. SGL Carbon. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-16-0769, 18 pp.) (Linda Stephens, J.) Appealed from the North Carolina Industrial Commission. N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: The Industrial Commission did not err when it adopted a deputy commissioner’s opinion and award of ...

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Workers’ Compensation – Constructive Refusal of Employment – Continuation of Benefits – Attorney’s Fees (access required)

McLaughlin v. Staffing Solutions. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-07-0747, 21 pp.) (Donna S. Stroud, J.) Appealed from the Industrial Commission. N.C. App. Holding: An employee who was terminated for cause after suffering a compensable injury is still entitled to benefits if ...

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Workers’ Compensation – Causation – Occupational Disease – Rotator Cuff Tear – Ergonomic Expert – Co-Worker’s Performance (access required)

Smith v. Valley Proteins. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-16-0717, 17 pp.) (Sanford L. Steelman Jr., J.) Appealed from the Industrial Commission. N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: Since the evaluation of an occupational disease hinges on the characteristics of the particular job, and ...

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