Compensation Conversations

Compensation Conversations is a blog from Anders Newton aimed to help employers and carriers across North Carolina stay updated on workers’ compensation developments. You will find quick legal tips and practice summaries to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of workers' compensation law.

NC Workers’ Compensation Developments

In Sympathy: Chief Deputy Commissioner Melanie Goodwin The entire North Carolina workers’ compensation community is saddened to hear of the passing of Chief Deputy Commissioner Melanie Wade Goodwin, age 50. The Late Chief Deputy Commissioner Goodwin earned a reputation as a bright, thoughtful, and hard-working public servant. Prior to serving at the Industrial Commission, she…

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Insurance Adjuster Loses Workers’ Compensation Stress Claim

Think your job as an insurance adjuster is stressful? So did the claimant in Day v. Travelers (COA19-704, Aug. 4, 2020, unpublished), when she filed an occupational disease claim for anxiety and depression. However, like many claimants before her, Ms. Day learned the hard way that work creates stress for everyone, not just for insurance…

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A Scandalous Proposal: Using Empathy to End Groundless Workers’ Compensation Claims

Ever wonder why so many workers are intent on pursuing worthless claims? And why those workers sometimes receive money for “nuisance value?” You are not alone. The abuse of and over-reliance on the workers’ compensation system is no secret. The problem is so pervasive that insurance companies and administrators developed strategies to address fraudulent claims…everything…

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Anders Newton Victory: Jurisdiction

Anders Newton is pleased to report its most recent appellate victory, obtained by attorney Will Crone. After winning at both levels of the Industrial Commission, Mr. Crone secured a unanimous ruling from the North Carolina Court of Appeals in Lequire v. Southeastern Construction, dismissing claimant’s case entirely. What happened? Claimant lived in North Carolina but…

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New Law Ahead? NC Lawmakers Debate Covid-19 Workers’ Comp Claims

How will North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system deal with the anticipated claims arising from workers who contract and even die from COVID-19? That’s the question North Carolina lawmakers are addressing as they debate new proposed legislation designed to handle the issue proactively. What is the law all about? House Bill 1057, sponsored by House Minority…

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Mental Health, Addiction, and Workers’ Comp

Economic distress and social isolation are increasing the risk that North Carolina employees may experience mental health issues and substance use disorders. Even under normal conditions, employees suffering a work-related injury or disease may develop opioid addictions or mental conditions such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Sadly, it appears that the COVID-19 pandemic is…

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Let’s Party Like It’s Safety Awareness Month

Grab the streamers and balloons…non-latex, of course! Governor Roy Cooper has declared June 2020 as Safety Awareness Month in North Carolina. For most people, Safety Awareness conjures up images of masks, social distancing, and hand washing. But for the fine folks in the Wonderful World of Workers’ Comp, when we think safety, we think fewer…

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Addressing Medical Delays During COVID-19

A hallmark right of employers and insurers who direct an employee’s medical care in a North Carolina workers’ compensation case is the ability to require the worker to attend an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME). Similarly, a worker has the right to seek a second opinion from a physician to which both parties agree. Both these…

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Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Claimant Despite Extreme Failure to Prosecute

You snooze, you lose? It is a generally accepted premise in litigation. When plaintiffs drag their feet and fail to prosecute their case – workers’ compensation or any other – they may be subject to severe sanctions such as dismissal of their case. However, according to the North Carolina Court of Appeals, dismissal is not…

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Top 3 Strategies to Handle Workers’ Compensation Claims Virtually

Working virtually during a quarantine presents interesting challenges. But working virtually on workers’ compensation claims presents unique issues above and beyond the ordinary logistical issues like internet glitches, wardrobe malfunctions, and barking dogs. Workers’ compensation claims affect companies’ productivity and workforce, on the one side, and workers’ health and livelihood, on the other. In many…

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