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Tag Archives: Medical Evidence

Workers’ Compensation – Second Injury Fund – Medical Evidence – Treating Physicians & Diagnostic Tests (access required)

Carolinas Recycling Group v. South Carolina Second Injury Fund The decision of the appellate panel of the Workers’ Compensation Commission to deny the appellant-carrier partial reimbursement from the Second Injury Fund is supported only by the opinion of a non-treating physician who examined the injured claimant once. Several treating physicians, whose evaluations were supported by diagnostic imaging, reported that the claimant’s 2004 injury was worse than it would have been if he hadn’t previously injured his back in 2001 and 2002. The only reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the substantial evidence in the record is that the carrier is entitled to partial reimbursement from the Fund.

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Workers’ Compensation – Repetitive Trauma Injury – Medical Evidence – Causation – Notice (access required)

Thigpen v. Lexington Medical Center Plaintiff’s family physician – who said he was not an expert on carpal tunnel syndrome – testified that the claimant’s job duties could “potentially exacerbate” her carpal tunnel syndrome. The orthopedic surgeon who performed the claimant’s carpal tunnel surgery testified that he could not say what caused the claimant’s carpal tunnel syndrome or how long it had been present. He said he was “not certain as to the causation of her carpal tunnel syndrome, but her job activities, if she does a lot of repetitive flexion, extension activities most probably can aggravate any preexisting problems.” This evidence was insufficient to demonstrate the existence of a direct causal connection between the repetitive activities of the claimant’s job and her carpal tunnel syndrome.

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Workers’ Compensation – Medical Evidence – Head Injury – ‘Physical Brain Damage’ – Psychologist’s Testimony (access required)

Potter v. Spartanburg School District 7 The Appellate Panel of the Workers’ Compensation Commission was within its discretion to require a “higher degree of expertise” than that possessed by a clinical psychologist when determining whether plaintiff had sustained a physical brain injury. We affirm the circuit court’s decision to uphold the Appellate Panel’s finding that, although plaintiff suffered a psychological overlay from his work-related injury, he did not sustain any permanent partial disability as a result of the psychological overlay.

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Peer-review privilege keeps file locked (access required)

A confidential file on a patient who was injured while trying to escape a Beaufort hospital in 1999 wasn't discoverable, even though it held evidence that the hospital knew the patient was a danger to himself. So said the S.C. Court of Appeals in a ruling that centered on the patient's battle to unlock a statutory peer-review privilege that rendered the file confidential. The patient, Danny R. Prince, sued Beaufort Memorial Hospital after suffering injuries in a fall from the window of his room in 1999. He sought disclosure of the file because it contained the findings of the hospital's quality-assurance committee that investigated his fall.

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