South Carolina Court of Appeals Affirms Workers’ Compensation Tribunal’s Decision in Temporary Worker’s Case

Under South Carolina workers’ compensation law, a person who is hurt at work may be entitled to payment of certain benefits. These include medical care, temporary total disability, and permanent partial disability in many cases. If an employee disagrees with his or her award, there are steps that can be taken to appeal the administrative law judge’s ruling. On appeal, the employee has the burden of convincing the reviewing court that an error was made by the workers’ compensation commission.

Facts of the Case

In a recent unreported case, the plaintiff allegedly injured his left foot while working for the defendant, a temporary staffing agency. He filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits against the defendant and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier (also a defendant in his suit). Displeased with the holding of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission regarding his claim, the plaintiff sought review from the appellate court.

The Court’s Ruling

In his appeal to the South Carolina Court of Appeals, the plaintiff argued some 19 issues, including averments that a single commissioner had violated his rights by failing to enforce certain subpoenas, failing to accept deposition testimony, and providing insufficient notice of the review hearing. After considering each of the issues raised by the plaintiff on appeal, the court affirmed the commission’s decision. With regard to four of the issues presented by the plaintiff, the court held that the appellate panel had not erred in reviewing only the specific issue that the appeal panel ordered to be remanded at the remand hearing. As to four other additional issues raised by the plaintiff, the court of appeals determined that such issues had not been properly preserved for review by an appellate court. The court also sided with the defendants on the issue of whether the appellate panel had acted properly in refusing to extend the time for oral arguments.

As to two more issues, the court found that the lower tribunal had properly found that the plaintiff’s Form 30 was not properly before the panel, noting that such a decision could only be set aside if there had been an error of law or if the decision was clearly erroneous. The court also ruled in the defendant’s favor on the question of whether it was error for the appellate panel not to rule on the plaintiff’s proposed findings of fact and, instead, asking the defendant to prepare an order. The court went on to hold that there was substantial evidence to support the finding that the defendant was entitled to a credit of temporary total disability payments after the plaintiff reached the point of maximum medical improvement. Likewise, the court agreed with the lower tribunal that there was substantial evidence to support the finding that there was no guarantee that the plaintiff would have continued in his assignment but for his injury.

Hire an Experienced South Carolina Work Injury Lawyer

If you have been hurt on the job, you need to speak to a knowledgeable South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer. At the Patrick E. Knie Law Offices, we help workers in Spartanburg and Greenville fight for the benefits to which they are entitled following an accident in the workplace. For an appointment to discuss your case, call us at 864-582-5118. There is no charge for the appointment, and legal fees are not collected until a favorable settlement or judgment is entered in your case.

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