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

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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 In Adame v. Aerotek, an unpublished decision, Plaintiff sustained a low back injury in June 2013.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…

March Updates from the NC Industrial Commission

Two long-time Deputy Commissioners have recently been nominated by Governor Roy Cooper for appointment to the Full Commission.   Deputy Commissioners Robert J. Harris and Myra L. Griffin have both served in their current roles since 2005, adjudicating cases and conducting full evidentiary hearings around the state.   Their appointments are pending confirmation by the North Carolina…

Third Party Subrogation Liens

Workers’ compensation employers’ subrogation lien rights have received attention in recent years in the appellate courts. The North Carolina Supreme Court recently issued an opinion in Easter-Rozzelle v. City of Charlotte which clarified the impact of a third party settlement made without the written consent of the employer on the workers’ compensation claim, claimant’s entitlement…

Proposed Opioid and Prescription Rules Designed to Combat Opioid Crisis

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Opioid use continues to be a growing crisis in North Carolina and across the country. In an effort to continue to take steps to reduce availability and use of prescription pain killers, the Rules Review Commission, part of the Industrial Commission, recently issued proposed rules regarding opioids, prescriptions, and pain management. The rules are specifically…

Truck Driving: Why This Industry May be the Answer to Resolving Your WC Claim

After practicing law in the field of workers’ compensation for eleven years, I decided to return to school. Not business school; not for an LMS or other decorative degree which would typically boost the resume of a partner within a larger firm. Instead, I enrolled in Johnston Community College’s Truck Driver Training program, in Smithfield,…

NC Focuses on Misclassification of Employees through Employee Classification Section of NCIC

Starting on December 31, 2017, the North Carolina Industrial Commission will have a permanent Employee Classification Section charged with investigating and punishing employers who misclassify employees as independent contractors.  The Employee Classification Section was initially created through an executive order signed by former Governor Pat McCrory on December 18, 2015, Executive Order No. 83.  The…

Independent Contractor vs. Subcontractor – Two Different Analyses, Not Exclusive of the Other

An independent contractor is an individual who generally falls outside of the structure of the Workers’ Compensation Act. Whether a person employed to perform specified work for another is to be regarded as an independent contractor or as an employee within meaning of Workers’ Compensation Act is determined by application of ordinary common-law tests.  Youngblood…