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Negligence, Even Gross Negligence, Will Not Bar a Worker’s Compensation Claim

The North Carolina Supreme Court has long recognized that an employee’s injury caused by their own negligence act, cannot, in itself, bar their workers’ compensation claim. This principle is outlined in Hartley v. N.C. Prison Department, 258 N.C. 287, 128 S.E.2d 598 (1962). In that case, Mr. Hartley, a prison guard, was on his way […]

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Newly Added Rule 26(b)(4)(D) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure

Excluding Expert Exchanges: Protecting Attorney-Expert Communications Recently, the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure were amended to add a protection that is already recognized by federal courts: the Attorney-Expert protection. The newly added Rule 26(b)(4)(D) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, which is short-titled, “Trial-Preparation Protection for Communications Between a Party’s Attorney and […]

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Supreme Court Limits Compensability of Weight Loss Treatment Recommended for Injured Employees

On Friday March 22, 2024, the Supreme Court issued a favorable decision for the defense in Kluttz-Ellison v. Noah’s Playloft Preschool, No. 173PA22 (N.C. 2024).  Lindsay Wikle and Duane Jones from Hedrick Gardner represented Defendants. The Supreme Court provided a test to determine whether requested medical treatment is “directly related” to the original compensable injury, […]

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Wilson Litigation Team Obtains Summary Judgment in Premises Liability Matter 

Hedrick Gardner Partner Rob Wilson and Associate Tatiana Terry obtained summary judgment for the owner of an apartment complex in a premises liability case.  The case involved a thorough analysis of the recent decision by the North Carolina Supreme Court in Draughon v. Evening Star Holiness Church of Dunn, 374 N.C. 479, 487, 843 S.E.2d 72, […]

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The Use of a Courtesy Defense for Former Employee Depositions and Trial Testimony: An Arrow in the Quiver, an Ethical Trap, or Both?

During the recent Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC) Winter Meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida, Partner, Luke Sbarra, moderated a two-day presentation on February 26th and 27th focusing on the benefits and practical and ethical issues of using a courtesy defense to represent former employees in litigation against your client. Industry and attorney members […]

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CMS to Demand Section 111 Reporting of Funds Set Aside for Future Medicals in Workers’ Compensation Settlements

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is expanding the existing Section 111 reporting process to capture information on all workers’ compensation claims involving Medicare beneficiaries that receive a settlement (i.e., TPOC) and funding for a Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside (WCMSA), regardless of whether the workers’ compensation settlement was reported to CMS under the […]

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General Legislature Passes Significant Changes to Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Law

By Allen C. Smith, Brooks P. Miller, Julianna Grant, and Austin R. Walsh On September 22, 2023, Senate Bill 452, An Act to Make Various Changes to the Insurance Laws of North Carolina, to Amend the Insurance Rate-Making Laws, and To Revise High School Interscholastic Athletics, was presented to Governor Roy Cooper for signature. Because […]

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Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Maintains $750.00 “Low Dollar” Reporting Threshold

The SMART Act requires CMS to annually review the costs associated with the collection of Medicare conditional payments and set forth a threshold amount applicable to settlements, judgements, awards, or other payments (TPOC amount) for which it will not seek recovery. The threshold amount for 2023 was $750.00. On February 14, 2024, CMS announced the […]

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Rob Wilson Appointed as Hedrick Gardner’s Raleigh Office Managing Partner

January 2024 — Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP is proud to announce Rob Wilson has been appointed as the firm’s new managing partner of its Raleigh office, effective January 1, 2024. Wilson will succeed Patricia Shields, who has served as managing partner since 2021. In his new role, Wilson is committed to continue the […]

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Confirms Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) Rules Regarding Mandatory Insurer Reporting for Non-Group Health Plans (NGHP)

CMS held a webinar on January 18, 2024, where it provided clarification of the rules regarding the issuance of CMPs for late Section 111 reporting of the ongoing responsibility for medicals (ORM) and total payment obligations to a claimant (TPOC). The PowerPoint presentation should be posted on CMS’ website in two weeks. In sum, the […]

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