Turner Padget Blog

Welcome to the Turner Padget blog. This site is updated periodically by our firm's lawyers in an effort to serve as a source for helpful information on various legal issues and to share our recent courtroom achievements.


Free Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Health Seminar

Please join Palmetto Health HealthWorks and Turner Padget for a FREE Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Health Seminar for adjusters and employers on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Columbia, South Carolina. If you have any questions, please contact your Turner Padget workers' compensation attorney.

Haley Appoints Mike Campbell

Governor Nikki Haley has appointed Mike Campbell to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission to serve the remainder of Andrea Roche’s term, who announced her resignation earlier this month.

Andrea Roche resigns from the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission

Commissioner Andrea Roche has tendered her resignation to Governor Nikki Haley, effective July 31, 2014. Commissioner Roche has served on the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission since 2006. She graduated from Yale Law School, clerked for Judge Chapman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and practiced workers’ compensation defense before being appointed to the Commission.

Court of Appeals case could allow increased exposure for spine claims.

A recent Court of Appeals case could allow increased exposure for spine claims with radiculopathy.

Troy Thames Obtains Defense Verdict

Troy secured a defense verdict on an admitted liability automobile accident in which the Defendant pulled out in front of the Plaintiff from a service station, causing a t-bone collision.

2014 Legislative Update

The South Carolina State Legislature is back in session, and five pre-bills have been filed regarding Workers’ Compensation.

Julian Allen and Jennie Smith Obtain Defense Verdict

Plaintiff alleged that Defendant tried to run over her with a car, causing a comminuted wrist fracture and ligament rupture.

Julian Allen Once Again Secures Defense Verdict

Plaintiff was working as an EMT while responding to a call in an apartment complex in Charleston.

South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission Issues Notice

The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission has issued a notice that the mileage reimbursement rate has gone down to 56 cents per mile.

Allying with an Employer on Worker’s Compensation Case

The employee sustained a work-related back injury and returned to work five days later with restrictions. The employer accommodated his restrictions, assigned him to light duty work, and paid his full salary. Roughly two months later, the employee violated company policy.

Divorcing Your Business Partner and Competing Business

The dispute involved a business that divorcing parties jointly owned. Disagreements ensued between the parties over all major corporate decisions, and the matter became very contentious when the Plaintiff discovered that the Defendant’s son started a competing business.

Winning Union Representation Election

Reggie Belcher recently represented an international auto parts manufacturer during a seven-week union campaign, which resulted in the company defeating the RWDSU/UFCW union by a 90-64 vote in a union representation election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.

New Laws for Worker’s Compensation Claims

The South Carolina General Assembly has approved the proposed Regulation requiring mediation in some Workers’ Compensation claims. The new Regulation will take effect around June 28, 2013.

Defending Personal Injury Claims Due to Car Accident

Heath Atkinson obtained a defense verdict in a motor vehicle case in which both liability and damages were in question.

Negligence for a Car Accident

The case was one of admitted negligence for a car accident with moderate damage.

Disability Denied When Employee was Fired for Not Adhering to Policy

Turner Padget attorneys, Cindy Dooley and Sam Sammataro, have just won a huge victory before the South Carolina Supreme Court on the issue of payment of temporary total disability benefits following a claimant’s termination.

South Carolina Attorneys Fight Employment Litigation Case

Our client employed Appellant as a machine operator and fired him for violating its attendance policy. He sued, on behalf of a class of current and former minority employees, for racial harassment, retaliation and race discrimination in promotions, transfers, pay, overtime, scheduling, discipline and termination.

Lawyer Secures Favorable Verdict in Personal Injury Case

In a case where the Defendant admitted simple negligence for causing an accident, the Plaintiff claimed $2,726 in medical bills, plus pain/suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

Jury Reaches Defense Verdict in Case Handled by Jake Kennedy

Plaintiff claimed he fell in a camouflaged hole in the yard of Defendant’s home rupturing his left quadriceps tendon.

What’s Really Covered Under D&O Policies?

Do you think all claims against a property owners’ association and its board members are covered under directors and officers (“D&O”) insurance policies? Think again.

Second Injury Fund Completes Phase-out on July 1, 2013

The Second Injury Fund stopped accepting reimbursement claims on December 31, 2010, and on July 1, 2013, it will cease operation as the entity that it currently is. This is a result of legislation originally passed in 2007, which dealt with business owners’ concerns over rising SIF assessments.

Proposed Regulation Requiring Mediation in Certain Workers’ Compensation Claims

The South Carolina General Assembly has approved the proposed Regulation requiring mediation in some Workers’ Compensation claims. The new Regulation will take effect around June 28, 2013.

Josey and Payne Victory Affirmed on Appeal

After successfully obtaining summary judgment for the bank and one of its officers, J. Rene Josey and Jeffrey L. Payne continued their representation of the clients on an appeal taken by a bank customer alleging defamation.

Josey Lends a Hand in Appellate Success

J. Rene Josey assisted with the preparation of the brief in a successful appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

South Carolina Has Adopted the Dual Persona Doctrine

In answering a certified question from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, the South Carolina Supreme Court, in Mendenall v. Anderson Hardwood Floors, LLC et al. (Op. No. 27219, Feb. 13, 2013), recently held that the state recognizes the dual persona doctrine as an exception to the exclusivity provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act. Therefore, South Carolina’s employers have an increased vulnerability to civil suit even when an injury is covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act.

S.C. Supreme Court Defines “Physical Brain Damage” to Mean More than Just a Minor Concussion

The South Carolina Supreme Court recently filed opinions in two cases regarding brain injuries, and these cases make clear that an injured employee’s burden of proof in establishing a brain injury and entitlement to lifetime benefits has been heightened. In Sparks v. Palmetto Hardwood, Inc. (Op. 27229 March 6, 2013), the court limited compensability of brain injury claims where lifetime benefits are requested to only those brain injuries that are “both permanent and severe.” This rule was reaffirmed and explained in further detail in Crisp v. SouthCo., Inc. (Op. 27230 March 6, 2013).

Back Yard Fun Park

A homeowner in Omaha, Nebraska is in a bitter fight with his homeowners’ association about a “fun park” he built in his backyard. The Omaha World-Herald reported in January that Eric Marsh has sued a member of the board of directors of Fire Ridge Estate’s homeowners association seeking a restraining order, and the association has filed a separate suit against Marsh seeking an injunction. Both suits are centered on certain improvements Marsh made on a lot adjacent to his home.

Animal House

As cities, towns and suburbs increasingly encroach into the natural habitat of wild animals, the interaction between people and these animals is growing more common. Wild animals such as bears and alligators are becoming accustomed and desensitized to the presence of humans, and are becoming increasingly aggressive in their search for food around and inside of homes. This clearly creates safety issues for people, their families and their pets.

Maximum Weekly Compensation Rate Increases for 2013

According to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, the maximum weekly compensation rate will increase to $743.72 for injuries that take place on and after January 1, 2013.

Bone v. U. S. Food Service

Question Presented: Whether a decision by the Circuit Court reversing the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s denial of compensability is directly appealable.

Thom Salane Prevails in Declaratory Judgment Action

Thom represented a major insurer in a declaratory judgment action in which the company sought to disclaim coverage, and therefore relieve the insurer from a duty to defend or indemnify based on a Designated Premises Endorsement.

Charlie Hill Triumphs in a Legal Malpractice Lawsuit

Charlie Hill represented a two-person law firm in a suit arising out of a divorce action. In the underlying case, the wife sued her husband for divorce and equitable distribution of marital assets.

Cindy Dooley and Sam Sammataro Prevail at Every Stage of a Workers’ Compensation Matter

The employee worked as a general laborer and apprentice electrician. He alleged repetitive trauma injury to his right shoulder.

Eric Englebardt and Sarah Day Hurley Obtain Summary Judgment in Employment Case

The plaintiff was a long-term employee who suffered a bad break of her ankle and was out of work on FMLA leave for twelve weeks.

Thames Secures Defense Verdict

Troy successfully defended a dog bite case in Charleston County.

Belcher Secures Early Dismissal for Employer

Reggie represented a life insurance company and two of its managers.

Belcher Obtains Summary Judgment for Employer

Reggie Belcher represented a trucking company in this matter.

Employee’s Rights to Temporary Total Disability Benefits and Termination

Case Law Analysis: Cranford v. Hutchinson Construction, Op. No. 4939 (Ct. App. 2012)

The Changing Face of the Commission

If there is anyone who has been out of the loop with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission for the past few months, what they will see when they come back are some significant changes in the Commission itself.

Josey and Payne Secure a Victory for Bank Client

The bank was sued for defamation by the proposed manager of a new business venture arising out of a refusal by the bank to loan the venture funds.

Dooley and Sammataro Prevail on Appeal

The appeal arose from a denied claim for partial reimbursement of workers' compensation benefits from the Second Injury Fund.

Unenforceable Rules and Regulations

In late 2011, the South Carolina Court of Appeals handed down a decision denying a homeowners’ association relief based on unenforceable rules and regulations. In Rawlinson Road Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Jackson, 395 S.C. 25, 716 S.E.2d 337 (S.C. App. 2011), the Court of Appeals determined that keeping a boat on a lot in the subdivision - an activity prohibited by the unrecorded rules of the association - was not an activity prohibited by the recorded restrictive covenants.

Can Condominium Liens Survive Foreclosure?

Generally, the liens for unpaid condominium owners’ association assessments do not survive a mortgage foreclosure action if the mortgage has priority over the association’s lien. However, even though §27-31-210(b) provides that condominium liens with junior priority do not survive a mortgage foreclosure action, the liability for the amounts underlying the lien can survive other types of foreclosure actions, including an action foreclosing the condominium lien itself.

Priority of Liens for Assessments

A question faced by many homeowners’ associations is whether the association’s lien against a property for unpaid assessments has priority over a mortgage on the property. This issue can arise in many circumstances, but most often when the mortgage lender starts a foreclosure action against the property.

Spruill Triumphs

Duvall Spruill filed suit to stop an owner of a neighboring commercial tract from building a portion of his new project ...

Trayvon Martin’s Death Raises Concerns for Community Associations Nationwide

The recent shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla. has attracted a flood of national attention due to the highly charged legal, political and cultural issues involved.

Summary Judgment Secured by Jake Kennedy Affirmed

In this employment law case, the employee alleged the employer violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Jake Kennedy Obtains Summary Judgment

Jake's client owned a trailer used to transport chickens to its processing plant.

John Blincow and Ashley Heslop Deliver Defense Verdict

John and Ashley represented a cardiologist who was sued by the widow of one of his patients.

Reggie Belcher Secures Summary Judgment for Employer

The company fired the employee after he violated a safety rule, as his violation could have caused serious injury or death to himself or others.

Reggie Belcher Obtains Summary Judgment in Defamation Case

Plaintiff provided financial and accounting-related services to a school district where Defendant served as statewide superintendent.

Julian Allen Secures Defense Verdict in John Doe Action

The Plaintiff’s cases were consolidated for trial. Plaintiff husband was driving when he claims that a black SUV hit the front of his car, causing it to roll over twice.

Gerald Chambers Obtains Defense Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case

Chambers obtained a defense verdict in a week-long medical malpractice case representing a general surgeon.

South Carolina Court of Appeals Upholds Dismissal Obtained by Rene Josey

By declining a rehearing en banc, the South Carolina Court of Appeals upholds another dismissal obtained by Rene Josey.

Sam Sammataro Triumphs On Appeal in Workers’ Compensation Matter

The claimant alleged he sustained a compensable hernia injury while moving heavy equipment at the employer’s mill.

Tom Kennaday Argues Case of the Month for January 2012

As part of his probate litigation practice, Tom was asking the court to recognize a new cause of action, intentional interference with an inheritance, and a new form of damages for civil conspiracy, lost expected inheritance.

Mike Chase and Sam Sammataro Prevail on Behalf of Employer in Workers’ Compensation Matter

The claimant alleged he sustained a compensable hernia injury while moving heavy equipment at the employer’s mill.

Troy Thames Secures Summary Judgment in Premises Liability Case

The Plaintiff fell in a restaurant on Hilton Head Island.

South Carolina Court of Appeals Upholds Dismissal of Claims Against Bank Client

Rene Josey represented the bank in this matter.

Rich Dukes Secures Defense Verdict for Title Insurance Company

The dispute involved a million dollar claim plus interest and attorney’s fees.

Wayne Byrd and Audra Byrd Obtain Verdict of $6,450,000 on Personal Guaranty

The Defendant had signed the guaranty in connection with a loan from a bank to his company.

Frank Shuler Secures Reversal by the South Carolina Court of Appeals

The appeal was of a Family Court case involving the termination of the mother’s parental rights.

The Product Liability Group Prevails at Trial and on Appeal for Automobile Manufacturer

The automobile manufacturer was sued on a rollover accident.

Julian Allen Obtains Defense Verdict

Liability was admitted.

David Marshall Secures Judgment

David Marshall secures judgment in favor of an automobile manufacturer on appeal

Troy Thames Obtains Favorable Verdict

A defense verdict is rendered in a motor vehicle accident with disputed liability and damages.

Julian Allen Triumphs on UIM Claim

The claim arose from a four-car accident.

Julian Allen Secures Favorable Verdict

A favorable verdict is secured on an uninsured motorist claim.

Thom Salane Obtains Defense Verdict After Multiple Day Trial

The client ran a plastics recycling operation in a leased portion of an old mill.

Ralephata Obtains Summary Judgment

Nosizi Ralephata obtains summary judgment in an insurance coverage case.

Josh Shaw Obtains Favorable Verdict in Property Damage Case

Plaintiff truck driver claimed his truck was damaged by rocks coming from Defendant truck driver's trailer.

David Sligh Successfully Defends Property Owners Association

Plaintiff brought causes of action for breach of fiduciary duty and declaratory judgment.

Ed Cole and Audra Byrd Obtain Directed Verdict Against Finance Company

When the Plaintiff’s account became delinquent, the company hired a towing service to repossess the vehicle.

David Sligh Delivers Substantial Verdict on Debt Owed to Client

The primary issue in the case was whether the business that incurred the debt was solely owed by one of the defendants.

Julian Allen Obtains Defense Verdict in Motor Vehicle Accident Case

Liability was admitted.

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment Obtained by Jake Kennedy

The decision was in favor of an employer who terminated a worker for insubordination.

Julian Allen Prevails in Admitted Fault Wreck Case

Plaintiff was a 17 year old who was a passenger in the adverse vehicle.

Julian Allen Again Prevails in Admitted Fault Wreck Case

Plaintiff was a 45 year old male who claimed two disc herniations.

Sam Sammataro and Cindy Dooley Win at Every Stage

The workers’ compensation case was appealed to the South Carolina Court of Appeals.

David Marshall Obtains Defense Verdicts for Automotive Client and Local Car Dealership

The Greenville County case involved allegations of false advertising.

Thom Salane Prevails for Second Time in Insurance Coverage Case

The case arose out of underlying state and federal lawsuits by Plaintiff for wrongful death of an individual under confinement.

Mike Chase and Sam Sammataro Prevail in South Carolina Court of Appeals

The matter was an appeal of a workers' compensation case.

Charlie Hill Successfully Defends Medical Malpractice Case

The case against a Columbia hospital ended abruptly on the second day of trial.

Nosi Ralephata Prevails on Motion to Dismiss in U. S. District Court

Plaintiff filed a lawsuit alleging that the display and use of her photographs as part of the promotional material for an exhibit.

Reggie Belcher Obtains Summary Judgment on Behalf of Insurer

Plaintiff sued six defendants, including Turner Padget’s client.

Josh Shaw Obtains Favorable Verdict for Non-Profit Corporation

The suit was against a former employee for return of advance payments made to the employee prior to the employee’s resignation.

Duvall Spruill Prevails in Non-Jury Trial

The matter was heard in Sumter County.