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Workers Compensation
University of South Carolina School of Law
Lacy, Stanford E.

SOUTH CAROLINA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION – OUTLINE AND NOTES
 
STAN LACY
COLLINS & LACY
1330 LADY ST.
6TH FLOOR
803-256-2660
 
EXERCISE/HYPO:
Year 1934. No such thing as workers’ comp law. Joe (π) is employed at Sawmill (100 employees). He is 28 years old, married, 2 children. Operates a buzz saw. Job is to guide the logs cutting them into lumber. Performed flawlessly for 10 years. Belt is old and worn. No OSHA regulations. Fellow employee thought he would oil the system to help out. But he put wrong oil on it. Π pushes log with both hands. Π ignores safety device. Belt snaps striking π in back which throws him into the saw and amputates both hands.
 
Π Joe
Π has burden of proof.
Interview and investigate.
File complaint against employer and employee.
Pleading:
1)      Allege jurisdiction
2)      Cause of action: Negligence
a)      duty
b)      breach
c)      causation
d)      damages
       3) Employee must prove employer was negligent.
 
∆ Employer
1)      Plead general denial.
2)      Affirmative Defenses:
a)      contributory negligence
b)      outside scope of job duty
c)      assumption of the risk
 
What’s wrong with the picture?
1)      inconsistent results and uncertainty
2)      ward of the state
3)      no incentive for company to make conditions better
4)      Burden of proof on π
5)      ∆ controls all the evidence.
6)      Clogged courts
7)      Time – takes years to get a result.
 
 
 
Legislature
Passes the workers’ compensation act.
1)      define benefits by statute.
2)      Create agency with exclusive jurisdiction to hear these cases. Industrial commission. Now it is workers’ compensation commission.
3)      Timely payments to claimants. Benefits must flow by a certain deadline.
4)      No Fault
5)      Awards based on disability as set by workers’ compensation commission.
6)      Exclusive remedy. Can’t sue employer. Unless the employer intentionally injures the employee, this is the only remedy.
7)      Insurance. Must have insurance. Premium based on payroll and the mod factor. Mod factor takes into account how safe your place is. i.e. number of accidents.
 
2004:
π’s attorney:
1)      file

s and express companies:
Shall not apply to railroads, rr employees, railway express companies or rr express company employees.
 
§42-1-360 Exemption of casual employees and certain other employments:
Act does not apply to casual employees, Federal employees in this state, employers with less than 4 employees in the same business within the state or who have payroll under $3k regardless of the number of persons, textile hall corporation, state and county fair associations and agricultural employees.
 
§42-1-370 Exemption of salesman of agricultural products
 
§42-1-375 Does not apply to licensed real estate sales persons who work for straight commission, under an independent contractor agreement.
 
§42-1-380 Waiver of exemption by employer:
Exempt employer may come within act by giving written notice and will be covered 30 days after the date of such notice.