Change to Framework for Proving Disability in North Carolina Supreme Court’s Landmark Wilkes Decision

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In addition to creating a medical presumption for accepted claims, the North Carolina Supreme Court’s decision in Wilkes v. City of Greenville has significantly altered the landscape for proving disability.  The Court has held that an employee can prove a disability outside of the four methods outlined in Russell v. Lowes Product Distribution.  The Court…

Attendant Care in Post-Reform North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claims

In recent years, attendant care provided under North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act has gotten quite a bit of attention in the appellate courts and at the General Assembly.  In particular, the Court of Appeals’ 2011 decision in Shackleton v. Southern Flooring & Acoustical Company presented a challenge for employers.  Reversing the Commission’s denial of an attendant…

North Carolina Court of Appeals Determines Parsons Presumption Applies to New Injury to Accepted Body Part

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On May 12, 2007, Plaintiff was working as a tire builder for Defendant-Employer, and sustained injury to her right shoulder. Defendants accepted the right shoulder as compensable. Plaintiff underwent surgery and returned to work. Plaintiff sustained a number of exacerbations to the right shoulder over the course of her claim. Following one incident in 2010,…

Bad Faith – The Heat Is On

A federal court in North Carolina recently ruled that homeowner-defendants in a declaratory judgment action sufficiently pled a counterclaim for bad faith against their insurer. The homeowners filed a claim with their insurer after their residence suffered water damage while they were out of the country.  The insurer denied the claim after it determined that…

Trigger of Coverage

Last week was the one-year anniversary of Harleysville Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., 2015 WL 859586 (E.D.N.C. Feb. 27, 2015), in which the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina required five insurers to equally contribute to the defense of a mutual insured in connection with three underlying…

Agreement Between US Government and Auto Makers on Issues Affecting Insurance Industry

Last week, automakers and the US government reached an agreement on ways to improve safety, including warding off cyber-attacks in the ever-increasing number of Internet-connected vehicles and supporting the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles.   This collaborative approach by regulators and industry leaders highlights the overlap between automobile liability, cyber security, and autonomous vehicles.