The North Carolina Supreme Court has overturned a lower appeals court decision that threw out a worker’s compensation award for an injured tractor-trailer driver.
The Supreme Court found Friday that the North Carolina Court of Appeals wrongly overturned an industrial commission decision that found Donna Sprouse’s spinal injuries compensable after a September 2016 accident.
Sprouse was injured when a blown tire on her tractor-trailer caused the vehicle to crash. Her husband was riding with her in the vehicle when the accident occurred. Both were employed by the Mary B. Turner Trucking Co.
Sprouse reported her husband’s injury but did not report her injuries until later. The employer later contested the comp award, claiming that Ms. Sprouse could not prove that her injuries were related to the workplace accident, as she had underlying conditions.
The lower appellate court agreed and vacated the comp award as improper.
The Supreme Court held that the Court of Appeals was wrong and that while a plaintiff̵7;s medical history may be relied upon in comp cases, it does not prove whether a plaintiff’s particular injury was causally related to a workplace accident.
The Supreme Court referred the case back to the Court of Appeal with instructions to reinstate the right to compensation.