Fee reimbursement schedule upheld, statute of limitations on Second Injury claims: S.C. WORKERS’ COMP UPDATE

The South Carolina Supreme Court has issued two significant workers’ compensation opinions in the past week and a half.

Fee Schedule Upheld

In the first case, the Court reversed the determination of a circuit court that outpatient surgery centers were not bound by the fee schedule established by the state Workers’ Compensation Commission.

The Plaintiffs were challenging a change in reimbursement rates that had been imposed in 2006, contending that the change was a “contested case” entitling them to a hearing with the procedures set forth in the South Carolina Administrative Procedure Act. Because the change was imposed without a hearing, their due process rights were violated, they said. They also argued that they had a property interest in the rates that was protected by the South Carolina Constitution....

Second Injury Claims Have 10-Year Statute of Limitations

In another case construing the Workers’ Compensation Reform Act, passed in 2007, the Court held that there was a 10-year statute of limitations on claims for reimbursement from the state Second Injury Fund. The decision is significant because the Fund is scheduled to be shut down in 2013, and employers are combing their old files to recover what reimbursement they can in the meantime. The Court’s decision will obviously limit employers’ ability to recover based on these old cases....

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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