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Tag Archives: Workers Compensation

Workers’ Compensation – Causation – Shoulder Injury – Later Neck Pain – Degenerative Condition (access required)

Steen v. Triad International Maintenance Corp. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-08-0994, 12 pp.) (Laura Kranifeld Mavretic, Commissioner) Appealed from Opinion & Award of Deputy Commissioner Bradley W. Houser. I.C. No. 839303. Holding: Despite undergoing shoulder exams that involved his neck, plaintiff ...

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Workers’ Compensation – Job Termination – Insubordination – Additional Benefits (access required)

Grajales v. Ferguson Design, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-08-0973, 6 pp.) (Linda Cheatham, Commissioner) Appealed from Opinion & Award of Deputy Commissioner Robert Wayne Rideout Jr. I.C. No. 196935. Holding: Even though plaintiff suffered a compensable injury to his spleen, ...

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Practical Litigator: Third-party cases in hiding – The corporate relative case

Several years ago a prominent and weather-tested workers' compensation lawyer from down east approached me at a CLE where I had just finished a presentation on inadequate-security cases. He represented the estate of a young woman who had been murdered while working at a check-cashing store, leaving behind two young children. The facts of the case were horrific. The woman was working alone on a Saturday morning and was found by a customer. Her head had been all but severed from her body. Her fingertips had been removed with surgical precision at the first finger joint. Although more than two years had passed since the crime, the police had no suspects.

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Prison guard gets comp benefits after ‘shanking’ threat (access required)

Nathaniel Rainey was at a restaurant watching a football game when he received a phone call from a coworker. "Well," the coworker said, "when you come in you need to be very careful because we heard some inmates were planning on shanking you." Rainey immediately left the restaurant and had a panic attack in his car. After the N.C. Department of Correction denied his workers' compensation claim, a deputy commissioner awarded Rainey medical and disability benefits. The commission has upheld the award.

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Workers’ Compensation – Aggravation of Pre-Existing Condition – Apportionment – Medical Expenses – Speculation (access required)

Burroughs v. Laser Recharge of Carolinas, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly 10-16-0932, 9 pp.) (John C. Martin, Ch.J.) Appealed from the Industrial Commission. N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: The Industrial Commission did not err in finding that the plaintiff’s compensable injury aggravated his ...

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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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