“Tonya has handled some very difficult and complex claims with professionalism, integrity, and foresight. We have received compliments about her from our insureds and our marketing representatives, about how they have enjoyed working with her. Tonya has always made herself available to answer any general questions and provide research we have on our claims. Tonya’s enthusiasm and passion for her clients is always evident in her everyday communications.” – Kimberly Brown, Federated Insurance Company

Tonya is a partner in the firm’s Raleigh office. She graduated from law school and began practicing law in 2001 and has spent her entire legal career at Hedrick Gardner. Her practice focuses exclusively in the area of workers’ compensation defense. While in law school, Tonya was a member of the Holderness Moot Court, for which she served as the Treasurer of the Bench and was a member of the Negotiation Team. Tonya is also a member of The Order of the Barristers, a national honorary organization which provides national recognition for individuals who excelled in advocacy and service in law school.

Tonya has extensive experience in every aspect of workers’ compensation litigation, having practiced for years before the North Carolina Industrial Commission and handling appeals to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. She has handled hundreds of motions, mediations, hearings, depositions, and Full Commission appeals. Her practice involves all areas of workers’ compensation defense, including but not limited to injury by accident and specific traumatic incident claims and occupational disease cases. She has given numerous continuing education presentations to clients on various topics of interest in the area of workers’ compensation. Tonya has both participated in and been a presenter multiple times at the North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Educational Conference held annually.

Tonya is an active member of the North Carolina State Bar, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, and the Wake County Bar Association.

Tonya is a native of Plymouth, North Carolina, where she was born and raised in a large family of eight children. Tonya has a son, Braelon, to whom she is devoted. When she is not very loudly cheering for Braelon at his soccer games, Tonya loves going to the movies and spending time with family and friends.

Tonya was named one of Raleigh’s Business Leader Media’s Movers & Shakers in 2009 and was also selected to the North Carolina Rising Stars list, published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines, in 2012.

Experience and Involvement


  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
  • Wake County Bar Association
Representative Matters

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS: Cases or matters referenced are for illustrative purposes only, and do not represent the lawyer’s or law firm’s entire record.  Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits.  The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicted based upon a lawyer’s or law firm’s past results. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

  • Extensive experience representing oil and gas companies, electrical companies, HVAC companies, manufacturing plants, hospitals, nursing home facilities, and school boards.
  • Experience representing insurance companies in coverage disputes.
  • Experience representing construction companies in employee vs. independent contractor disputes.
  • Obtained favorable results for various clients in workers’ compensation matters including injury by accident, specific traumatic incident, medical causation/treatment, ongoing disability, and return to work issues and disputes.


  • Named one of Raleigh’s Business Leader Media’s Movers & Shakers in 2009
  • Selected to the North Carolina Rising Stars list published nationwide in Super Lawyers® Magazine in 2012
  • Maintains a BV peer-rating by Martindale Hubbell