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South Carolina: $14 Million Verdict Stands Since Worker Was Not Statutory Employee of Manufacturer

March 08, 2019 (1 min read)

Affirming a judgment entered on a $14 million verdict in a mesothelioma case against a former textile manufacturer, the South Carolina Court of Appeals held that the deceased maintenance worker was not the statutory employee of the defendant’s predecessor in interest and his estate could, therefore, maintain a civil action for damages. The former textile company argued that the decedent’s maintenance services—he’d had been supplied to the manufacturer by a labor firm—were a necessary and integral part of any operation like the one it had carried out and that, accordingly, the decedent was its statutory employee. Parsing its words quite carefully, the appellate court stressed that although the maintenance work was “essential” for manufacturing polyester fiber, it did not necessarily follow that the maintenance was a part or process of the company’s manufacturing business.

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Keene v. CNA Holdings, LLC, 2019 S.C. App. LEXIS 20 (Feb. 13, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 70.06.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see