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North Carolina: Expert’s Accident Reconstruction Testimony Sinks Employee’s Claim

September 30, 2016 (1 min read)

A North Carolina court affirmed a finding by the state’s full Industrial Commission that a patient food service technician’s torn rotator cuff did not arise out of and in the course of the employment where the Commission found compelling testimony by two experts in biomechanics and accident reconstruction who opined that the incident described by the technician likely could not have resulted in her injury. The technician contended a swinging door struck her as she was about her duties. Her orthopedist indicated that, “having no contradictory evidence,” it was more likely than not that the technician’s rotator cuff tear was directly related to the door-closing incident she described. While the deputy commissioner entered a finding that the injury was compensable, the appellate court observed that Full Commission, not the deputy commissioner who hears the case, is the sole judge of the credibility of witnesses. The Commission found the employer’s medical expert and the reconstruction experts’ testimony more convincing, which was within its province to do.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Yarborough v. Duke Univ., 2016 N.C. App. LEXIS 978 (Sept. 20, 2016)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 130.05.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law