Michael E. Chase

Mike Chase has 20 years of experience in defending workers’ compensation claims, representing employers, carriers and self-insured clients throughout South Carolina. He has served as manager of Turner Padget’s workers’ compensation practice group and as a member of the firm’s executive committee.

Mike currently devotes his practice to workers’ compensation defense and mediation. He is approved panel counsel for nearly all carriers in South Carolina, and he works closely with large self-insured employers. He has a wealth of experience with subrogation of workers’ compensation liens and Medicare set aside issues, and he frequently defends former worker actions with a large number of plaintiffs alleging occupational illnesses, including hearing loss and chemical exposure. Mike’s current client focus is with large accounts, while at the same time managing a large volume of work for several carriers and self-insured employers.

Mike enjoys learning about an employer’s business from a risk management and workers’ compensation claim management standpoint. He often assists his clients in developing and updating their workers’ compensation claims procedures. Mike believes that employers benefit best from a well-planned claims management process that begins on day one of an accident. His clients include hospital systems, grocery store chains, airlines, trucking and transportation companies, package delivery services, distribution facilities, national big box stores, restaurant chains, retail outlets and construction firms.

Mike serves as the firm’s client manager for a large national insurance carrier, assisting them with litigation management and legal cost containment throughout South Carolina across all lines of litigation. He also serves as the contact for large employers who desire a centralized approach to managing their South Carolina workers’ compensation defense litigation across all five Turner Padget offices.

Mike grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, but has been a resident of South Carolina since his days as an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina. He is a deacon and teacher at First Baptist Church of Columbia, where he and his family are active members. He is a board member of Ben Lippen School. Mike enjoys rooting for the Gamecocks, playing golf, fishing, and spending time with his family.

“I pride myself on exceeding a client’s expectations when it comes to service. I am very responsive to communications, and strive to provide an effective defense of each workers’ compensation claim in the most efficient manner possible. My team and I take a very hands-on approach when interviewing potential defense witnesses and in hearing preparation. My many years of experience come together with a reputation of always being prepared to work to my clients’ benefit.”

Representative Matters

Workers’ Compensation

  • Successfully defended Westinghouse Savannah River Site (SRS) through the course of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Former Worker Screening Program, which resulted in a multitude of workers’ compensation claims. This government program entitled each surviving former worker to a free medical screening to determine if they may have any compensable injuries as a result of working at SRS. These claims were aggressively investigated, and Mike worked closely with the employer and carrier to resolve each one through settlement or litigation. On-site file reviews and strategy conferences helped manage the large volume of claims and kept the client involved in the entire process. This resulted in early resolution of many claims.
  • Represented Georgetown Steel and ESIS/ACE USA in a large number of hearing loss claims filed simultaneously by claimants’ counsel on behalf of most every surviving former employee of the plant. Through discovery including a full medical history, independent medical opinions and depositions, Mike achieved a successful resolution. In many of the cases, the employer was dismissed altogether.
  • Prevailed in an appellate matter in which Mike defended an employer in a South Carolina workers’ compensation case in which the plaintiff claimed chemical exposure that resulted in an occupational disease and total disability. The issues of the case included compensability, notice of the alleged accident and the statute of limitations.  This decision is precedent for the strict application of the Administrative Procedures Act, which mandates that the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission take the evidence, judge the credibility and weight of that evidence, and from that judgment determine the facts of the case. As a result, the Circuit Court’s role is appellate only, and is limited to deciding whether the Commission’s decision is not supported by substantial evidence.
  • Mike recently won another appellate case, this one in 2009. In this South Carolina Court of Appeals case, the claimant appealed the denial by the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission that her exposure to perfume in a hospital setting where she worked caused her permanent and total disability. The court rendered a unanimous affirmation of the denial on the basis that the injury did not arise out of the employment.

Contact Information

Columbia Office
Phone: 803.227.4241
Fax: 803.400.1465
Email: mchase@turnerpadget.com
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Practice Areas

In Our Blog

Bar and Court Admissions

South Carolina Bar, 1990  

Education

University of South Carolina, J.D., 1990
University of South Carolina, B.A., 1987

Professional Affiliations

Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Association (Editorial Committee Member, 2014)
South Carolina Self Insurers Association (Legal Advisor to the Board, 2011)

Speeches/Presentations

“60 Best Practices,” South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Association Annual Educational Conference, October 2009    

Honors

Best Lawyers in America, Workers’ Compensation, 2008-2014
Supreme Court of South Carolina, Certified Civil Court Mediator  
Columbia Metropolitan Best Attorneys in the Midlands, 2013