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Adam Smith Prevails in 3-0 Decision By The NC Court of Appeals

On October 18, 2011, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled in our favor in the case of Denning v. N.C. Dept. of Agriculture. We represented a Sheriff’s Deputy was injured working at the North Carolina State Fair. The Deputy was a County employee, but was hired by the State to work at the Fair on his days off from his regular Sheriff’s duties. He was paid $25 per hour to provide police service at the Fair, and fractured his wrist while apprehending a suspect during his first shift at the Fair. He required surgery and missed time from work and filed a worker’s compensation claim. The State would only agree to pay him $30 per week for his time out of work, arguing that he was a temporary, seasonal employee, and that if they were to pay him as if he were a full-time employee, he would sustain a “windfall”. They took the issue before a Deputy Commissioner at the North Carolina Industrial Commission (the agency that handles all worker’s compensation claims in North Carolina) and prevailed at the hearing. Attorney Adam Smith appealed the case to the Full Industrial Commission, arguing that paying an injured worker based only on what he earned in his first day on the job was not a windfall, but rather was incredible unfair to the injured worker. Adam Smith further argued that such a ruling would mean that any person working a summer job, or any person hurt on their first day on the job would be paid almost nothing for their time out of work. Adam prevailed in a unanimous 3-0 decision, in which the Commission Ordered that the Deputy should be paid as if he were a full-time employee. The State chose to appeal the decision to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. In another unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals found in our favor. Our client stated that this case was important to police officers and deputies all over the state who feared they could no longer work at jobs like the State Fair for fear that they would not be able to cover anything meaningful in the event they were injured on the job. Our firm is proud to be able to set such a meaningful precedent for injured workers in our state.

This entry was posted in General, Worker’s Compensation.