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Tag Archives: Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation – Disability – Back Injury — Phlebotomist/CNA – Job Search – Constructive Refusal of Light Duty – None Offered (access required)

Johnson v. Rent-A-Center, Inc. After plaintiff suffered a compensable back injury, and after the defendant-employer refused to allow her to return to work without a full medical release with no restrictions, she obtained certifications as a certified nurse assistant and phlebotomist. However, plaintiff’s doctor said work was a CNA not within her restrictions, and plaintiff has been unable to find work solely as a phlebotomist.

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Workers’ Compensation – Mental-Mental Injury – ‘Unusual or Extraordinary Condition’ – Deputy Sheriff – Fatal Shooting (access required)

Bentley v. Spartanburg County Although shooting a suspect is rare for a deputy sheriff, it is not an “unusual or extraordinary condition” as required by S.C. Code Ann. § 42-1-160. Therefore, the plaintiff-deputy cannot recover for the depression and post-traumatic stress disorder that he suffers as a result of fatally shooting a suspect who threatened him.

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Municipal – Labor & Employment – Workers’ Compensation – Public Employees – Mail Carrier (access required)

Hutchins v. U.S. Dep’t of Labor A U.S. Postal Service letter carrier who won a personal-injury lawsuit against a South Carolina town after she fell into a manhole must reimburse the Department of Labor for benefits she received under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act; the 4th Circuit affirms a decision that the town qualifies as a “person other than the U.S.” under 5 U.S.C. § 8132.

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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 – Constitutional – Due Process – Rehearing – Hybrid Approach (access required)

Adams v. H.R. Allen, Inc. At the original hearing before the single commissioner, the reporter’s equipment malfunctioned, and portions of the hearing were inaudible. When the Workers’ Compensation Commission remanded for a rehearing, the single commissioner could have conducted a completely new hearing or simply reconstructed the missing parts of the missing transcript.

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Workers’ Compensation – Employment Relationship – Taxi Company – Manager/Driver (access required)

Pikaart v. A & A Taxi, Inc. Plaintiff performed management duties for the defendant-taxi company, ran errands and filled in as a dispatcher or a cab driver when necessary. He was an employee and not an independent contractor of the taxi company. We affirm the circuit court’s reversal of the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s determination that plaintiff was an independent contractor.

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Workers’ Compensation – Quadriplegia – Subsequent Heat Stroke – First Impression – Caregiver’s Negligence (access required)

Tims v. J.D. Kitts Construction Injuries caused by the negligence of a caregiver - she left the quadriplegic claimant in a car on a scorching hot day, and he suffered heat stroke - are compensable consequences of the original compensable injury that left claimant a quadriplegic. We affirm the circuit court decision to uphold the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s award of benefits arising out of the heat stroke.

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Workers’ Compensation – Horseplay – Credibility – Climbing a Tree on a Bet (access required)

Zepeda-Cepeda v. Priority Landscaping & Lawn Care, LLC Even though claimant's co-worker and supervisor told different versions of their story, the Appellate Panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission was entitled to believe the version that said claimant was engaged in horseplay when he was injured. We affirm the appellate panel's denial of benefits.

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Labor & Employment – FLSA – Donning & Doffing Protective Gear – Changing Clothes – Workers’ Compensation – Wrongful Termination Claims – Tort/Negligence – Invasion of Privacy – Inadvertent (access required)

Atkinson v. House of Raeford Farms, Inc. According to the defendant-employer's longstanding practice and a Fourth Circuit ruling in a similar case, the plaintiff-employees' donning and doffing of protective gear constitutes "changing clothes," and the employer is not required to pay them for the time spent doing it.

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