How Will Layoffs Due to COVID-19 Affect a Claimant’s Entitlement to Workers’ Compensation Indemnity Benefits?

Elizabeth Ligon and Bruce Hamilton

While the North Carolina Industrial Commission has not yet issued any decisions specifically related to COVID-19, there are prior cases that have considered whether a claimant is entitled to indemnity benefits when their disability is the result of economic conditions. In general, when a claimant’s disability is due to an economic downturn, rather than a…

Implications of Recent Case Law on the Exclusive Remedy Doctrine

Bruce Hamilton and Elizabeth Ligon

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently released two decisions that impact the state’s exclusive remedy doctrine. Under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-10.1, the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act provides an exclusive remedy for unintentional work-related injuries. This provision affords North Carolina employers “limited” liability and allows employers to more accurately calculate their exposures, unlike…

North Carolina Court of Appeals Issues Decisions Analyzing Disability Post-Wilkes

Elizabeth Ligon and Courtney Britt

The Court of Appeals recently released two decisions that analyzed issues relating to disability – specifically, the burden of proving futility – post-Wilkes v. City of Greenville. In Adame v. Aerotek, an unpublished decision, Plaintiff sustained a low back injury in June 2013. After receiving conservative treatment with multiple doctors, Plaintiff was ultimately released with…

North Carolina Court of Appeals Rules Drug Test, Background Check Constitutes “Last Act” Necessary to Create Employment Contract

Elizabeth Ligon and Bruce Hamilton

In Holmes v. Associate Pipe Line Contractors, Inc., the Court of Appeals determined that post-offer contingencies, such as background checks and drug testing, constitute the “last act” necessary to create a contract of employment. On October 29, 2013, Plaintiff, who was living in North Carolina, was contacted via telephone by a union representative and offered…