North Carolina Court of Appeals Retains Pre-Reform Definition of Suitable Employment

Suitable employment is an issue frequently litigated in workers’ compensation claims in North Carolina. Typically, a job is offered and the claimant refuses the job on the basis that it is allegedly unsuitable. For decades, this issue has troubled employers because claimants could, with seeming impunity, refuse legitimate work and continue to collect temporary total disability.

Prior to 2011, North Carolina case law dictated that post-maximum medical improvement (MMI) employment must be (1) available in the local labor market, (2) reasonably attainable and offers opportunity …

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Garrett v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

In a recent case, Garrett v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Garrett II), the North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed the Industrial Commission’s determination that a claimant was not disabled due to her failure to engage in a reasonable job search. This case was before the North Carolina Court of Appeals a second time.

In its first hearing on the matter, the Industrial Commission concluded the claimant’s neck injury was compensable and awarded her total temporary disability compensation (TTD) for a 14-month period. Both parties …

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North Carolina Court of Appeals Holds Medications Not Approved by FDA can Constitute Medical Compensation

The Court of Appeals of North Carolina recently affirmed an Industrial Commission decision that use of non-FDA approved “compound creams” prescribed by an authorized treating physician was compensable medical treatment to be provided by the employer.

In Davis v. Craven County ABC Board, the plaintiff suffered compensable complex regional pain syndrome. He was prescribed a non-FDA approved compound cream and testified that it relieved some of his symptoms. The defendants refused to honor the prescription for several reasons, arguing that, among other things, the medication …

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