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Workers' Compensation

Mar 29, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Medical Benefits – Neck & Lumbar Complaints – Average Weekly Wage – Truck Driver

Brown v. Peoplease Corp. The Workers’ Compensation Commission did not err in denying the claimant lifetime medical treatment for his low back pain when the claimant’s doctors did not perform any procedures on his lower back; the only treatment given to the claimant for his lower back was the Percocet given to him at the emergency room; and the claimant could not even specifically tes[...]

Mar 22, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Suitable Work – Constructive Refusal Claim – Sleeping at Work – Continuing Disability

Davis v. UniHealth Post Acute Care Even if constructively refusing employment does allow an employer to deny an employee temporary disability compensation under S.C. Code Ann. § 42-9-190, substantial evidence supports the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s finding that the claimant did not constructively refuse employment: On the night before the claimant allegedly slept on the job, [...]

Mar 15, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Total & Permanent Disability – Head Injury – ‘Physical Brain Damage’

Sparks v. Palmetto Hardwood, Inc. Even though petitioner suffered a physical injury to the brain, and even though he is permanently disabled, the Workers’ Compensation Act’s 500-week limitation still applies to him because he did not suffer “physical brain damage” within the meaning of S.C. Code Ann. § 42-9-10(C).

Mar 8, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Brain Injury – Physical Brain Damage

Crisp v. SouthCo. In this case, the Workers’ Compensation Commission left the determination of the permanency of petitioner’s injury to a later date. However, we clarify what is meant by “physical brain damage” under S.C. Code Ann. § 42-9-10(C) for guidance. Inherent in the statute’s requirement that an injury to the brain be severe is the requirement that the worker be unable[...]

Feb 26, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Average Weekly Wage – Medical Conditions – Conflicting Evidence

Williams v. David Stafford Drywall Even though the employer admitted that some wage records may have been left out of the Form 20 computation of claimant’s wages because he could not find them, the claimant agreed that, if the employer prepared a wage statement on her behalf, she would accept it as being accurate.

Feb 20, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Employment Relationship – Volunteer – Educational Program – Condition of Probation

Simmons v. SC STRONG As a condition of probation and to avoid incarceration, the claimant participated in SC STRONG – a residential, non-profit organization in which “former substance abusers, ex-convicts, and homeless adults” are provided with educational and vocational opportunities. Although the claimant was injured while working on an SC STRONG construction project, he is not en[...]

Feb 18, 2013

Workers’ Compensation – Injuries – Lower Back – Medical Evidence – Average Weekly Wage

Brown v. Peoplease Corp. A Percocet prescription was the only treatment the claimant received for lower back pain; his doctors never clearly stated that his lower back pain was related to his on-the-job accident; and even the claimant’s own testimony did not specify that he experienced lumbar pain.

Jan 22, 2013

Workers Comp – Statutory Employer–Construction – Owner or Contractor

Fortner v. Thomas M. Evans Construction Where an injured worker was dividing his time and work duties between two companies with a close business connection, his principle employer was properly found to have been his statutory employer.

Dec 5, 2012

Workers’ Compensation – Lower Back Injury – Medical Evidence – Disability

Burnette v. City of GreenvilleIt appears that the interpretation of the claimant’s 2008 MRI as showing “only a ‘minimal’ protrusion with no nerve root displacement or impingement, and comparatively, no greater pathology of any significance (if any) than the MRI of 2004 …” is the medical opinion, not of any physician, but of the single commissioner, adopted by the Workers’ Co[...]

Nov 28, 2012

Workers’ Compensation – Average Weekly Wage – Permanent Total Disability – Lump Sum Award

Swilling v. Pride Masonry of Gaffney Although claimant had only worked for eight weeks before his injury, he continued to work light duty thereafter, receiving $21 per hour for 40 hours per week ($840 per week). Nevertheless, on its Form 20, the employer calculated his average weekly wage at only $742.14. The Workers’ Compensation Commission cited S.C. Code Ann. § 42-1-40 in finding th[...]

Nov 9, 2012

Workers’ Compensation – Brain Injury – Chiari I Malformation Aggravation — Claim Denial – Insufficient Findings

Canteen v. McLeod Regional Medical CenterThe order of the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Appellate Panel is unclear whether, in reversing the single commissioner’s finding that claimant suffered a brain injury, the Appellate Panel also reversed the single commissioner’s findings that claimant suffered from a Chiari I Malformation.

Sep 19, 2012

Workers’ Compensation – Earning Capacity – Claimant’s Hope – Restaurant

Hutson v. South Carolina State Ports Authority In support of his request to have workers’ compensation benefits awarded to him in a lump sum, claimant testified about his hope to open and operate a restaurant. Claimant had no restaurant experience, and he testified that he did not know how much he could earn. This should not have served as the basis for a ruling that claimant had failed[...]

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