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Workers' Compensation

South Carolina: Commission's Credibility Determinations as to Claimant Cannot Justify Ignoring Objective Medical Evidence of Injury

Acknowledging the broad discretion allowed to South Carolina's Workers' Compensation Commission when it comes to credibility determinations, the Supreme Court of South Carolina nevertheless reversed a Commission decision denying an employee's hearing loss claim on credibility grounds. The Court stressed that the Commission had erred in failing to explain how its credibility findings could justify the Commission's decision to ignore objective medical evidence of an injury. Where credibility was not itself a substantial issue in the case, even a valid credibility finding was no basis for making a factual determination. The Court criticized statements made by the hearing commissioner that the claimant's testimony was not credible. The Commission was required to explain the basis for its credibility findings and must also explain how its credibility findings justified disregarding crucial medical evidence offered by others.

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 Crane v. Raber’s Discount Tire Rack, 2020 S.C. LEXIS 33 (Mar. 11, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 130.03.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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