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Significant Workers’ Compensation Settlements

Significant Appellate Court Decisions:

NC Court of Appeals – February 2022

Vance vs The Laurels Healthcare: Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Industrial Commission denying the workers compensation claim of a PT assistant who sustained knee injury while preventing a nursing home patient from falling.

NC Court of Appeals – March 2022

Blackwell v. NC Dept of Public Instruction: Court of Appeals reversed the Industrial Commission and ruled for the first time in North Carolina history that a permanently and totally disabled claimant can request payment of their lifetime weekly benefit in a lump sum rather than being paid out over her 35 year life expectancy.

Sept 2021 – $740,000 – Dillard v. Hall: Wrongful death and civil right claims settled for sons of women who committed suicide while in custody of Jackson County detention center due to lack of proper supervision and failure to provide necessary medica/psychological care.

Dilliard v. Hall (2021) Wrongful death and civil rights claims settled for sons of woman who committed suicide while in custody of Jackson County Detention Center.. Settled for $740,000.

Holliday v. Tropical Nut & Fruit, __ N.C. App. _____, pet. for disc. review denied (2016) — Court of Appeals upheld and Supreme Court let stand an award of knee surgery and subsequent total knee replacement from injury which occurred during company sponsored laser tag outing as part of national sales conference.

Cawthorn v. Mission Hospital – 211 N.C. App. 42 (2011) — N.C. Court of Appeals affirmed an award of benefits in excess of $100,000 for a 20-year nurse plus sanctions of $30,000 against the hospital. The Court held Mission had unreasonably denied and defended the claim, and it unreasonably refused to accept the opinion of its own medical staff. Case was subsequently settled and was the subject of a National Public Radio story in 2015 by Daniel Zwerdling regarding hospital workers compensation abuses.

Tim C. v. Haywood County (2006) — represented county employee and his wife after severe leg injury, which resulted in leg amputation below the knee. Settled for $650,000, including payment for the wife for future funds to provide in-home care for her husband.

D’Aquisto v. Mission St. Joseph Health System — 360 N.C. 567 (2006)

North Carolina Supreme Court affirmed an award of $134,000 benefits plus ongoing medical care for a hospital employee who was sexually assaulted at work by a temporary worker.

Brendan R v. Ridgecrest Hospital (2005) — represented nurse and her husband who suffered severe head injury, loss of vision in one eye in auto accident. After multiple court decisions recovered a total of over $1,000,000 for the plaintiff and payment for her husband who had to quit his job to take care of her.

Smythe v. Waffle House — 170 N.C. App. 361 (2005)

N. C. Court of Appeals agreed to set aside improper settlement undertaken while Smythe was unrepresented by counsel. Restored full benefits and medical treatment.

Darren B v. Premier Staffing (2004) — represented wife and two sons of employee shot and killed by temporary employee recently released from prison. Recovered over $1,000,000 from the employer and temporary agency prior to trial.

Freddie B v. Cornerstone Properties (2003) — represented construction superintendent who sustained a severe head injury. After court decision and appeal resulted in a $1,000,000 settlement.

Lee H v. Drexel Furniture (2001) — represented family of Drexel employee shot and killed by co-worker at Drexel Black Mountain facility. Settlement prior to trial of $400,000.

Allman v. Union Butterfield (2000) — co-counsel for widows of two employees shot and killed at work by recently terminated employee. Recovered over $9,000,000, including a $7,900,000 jury verdict which is the highest workplace violence jury verdict in the United States.

Calloway v. Mission St Joseph Health System — 137 N. C. App 480 (2000)

North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed an award of benefits for the injured employee and further agreed defendant-hospital had unreasonably denied the claim.

Cooke v. P.H. Glatfelter — 130 N.C. App 220 (1998)

N. C. Court of Appeals affirmed an award of benefits for injured mother of three children after she sustained a severe electric shock resulting in significant loss of function of her right arm.

All initial administrative and judicial worker’ comp case decisions are available on the North Carolina Industrial Commission’s website in the searchable database. Click on the “Live link” database, enter “public” as your username, and search by “ramer” to find a record of our litigation.

Other Reported Cases

  • D’Aquisto v. Mission St. Joseph, 680 SE2d 249 (2009)
  • Smythe v. Waffle House, ___ N.C. App. ____ (2007)
  • Davis v. Great Coastal Express, 169 N.C. App 607 (2005)