NC: Cautious Medical Testimony Dooms Employee’s Claim of Aggravation Injury

NC: Cautious Medical Testimony Dooms Employee’s Claim of Aggravation Injury

A physician’s indication that it was “as likely as not” that an employee’s neck and shoulder injury was causally connected to an earlier work-related injury was insufficient to support a finding of medical causation, held a North Carolina appellate court recently. The court indicated the opinion, stated in that form, was mere speculation. Observing that the physician had also indicated the employee’s shoulder and neck problems could have been caused by degenerative disc disease that occurred “naturally over time,” the court reversed a decision by the state’s Industrial Commission that awarded additional medical benefits, finding that the decision was not supported by competent evidence.

Reported by Thomas A. Robinson, J.D.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Chaffins v. Tar Heel Capital Corp., 2013 N.C. App. LEXIS 1136 (Nov. 5, 2013) [2013 N.C. App. LEXIS 1136 (Nov. 5, 2013)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 130.06 [130.06]

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



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