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South Carolina: Workers’ Comp Commissioner Should Have Recused Herself

October 19, 2019 (1 min read)

Indicating it was “deeply concerned” with a state Commissioner’s conduct in a case, the Supreme Court of South Carolina, reversing a decision by the state’s Court of Appeals, said the Commissioner should have recused herself in a workers’ compensation case. According to an affidavit filed by the claimant’s attorney (and substantiated by counsel for the employer in oral arguments before the Supreme Court), the Commissioner threatened the claimant with a criminal investigation if he did not accept what was likely to be a nuisance settlement offer from the employer. There was other evidence that the Commissioner had engaged in an ex parte investigation on her own. The Court added that the Code of Judicial Conduct required a judge to disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might be questioned. Clearly, said the Court, this was such a case.

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 Ledford v. Department of Public Safety, 2019 S.C. LEXIS 94 (Oct. 2, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 132.07.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see