|Post by Pete Dworjanyn|
Kuhn vs. Hallmark Health Care
On March 30, 2011, the South Carolina Supreme Court certified for review an appeal pending at the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals has not yet issued an opinion in the case and requested the Supreme Court review it, as novel issues of law have been presented.
One issue is whether the payment of medical benefits equates to payment of compensation for purposes of the one year change of condition. If so, this would lengthen the period of time in which many employees (or theoretically employers) could file for a change of condition. Another issue is whether the one year change of condition begins to run on the date on which a lump sum award is paid, or if it is run on the date the award “would have been paid” had it been paid weekly. In other words, if the lump sum paid on April 6, 2011, equates to 156 weeks of benefits, the one year change of condition would not expire on April 6, 2012, but it would extend until April 6, 2015-one year from the date the last weekly payment “would have been made” if the checks were paid weekly. On both of these issues, there is a split of authority in jurisdictions around the nation. An Appellate Panel of the Workers’ Compensation Commission ruled in favor of the employer. The circuit court ruled in favor of the claimant. The employer appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court will now address the issues. We will issue an update when the opinion is released, which could be months from now.
In the meantime – here’s a discussion about an important case last Fall.
James v. Anne’s Inc., Op. No. 26762