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Clark v. Summit Contrs. Group, Inc.

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

December 31, 2014

CHARLES CLARK, Employee, Plaintiff,
v.
SUMMIT CONTRACTORS GROUP, INC., Employer, AMERICAN INTERSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, Carrier, Defendants

Heard in the Court of Appeals 3 November 2014.

Editorial Note:

This Decision is not final until expiration of the twenty-one day rehearing period. [North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure 32(b)]

Appeal by plaintiff from order entered 10 March 2014 by the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

REVERSED.

The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, by Bobby L. Bollinger, Jr. and W. Chad Winebarger, for plaintiff-appellant.

Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP, by Jaye E. Bingham-Hinch and Nicholas P. Valaoras, for defendants-appellees.

Chief Judge McGEE and Judge BELL concur.

OPINION

HUNTER, Robert C., Judge.

Plaintiff Charles Clark appeals from the order of the North Carolina Industrial Commission denying plaintiff's claim for compensation based on his failure to timely file a claim in North Carolina under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-24(a).

After careful review, based on McGhee v. Bank of America Corp., 173 N.C.App. 422, 618 S.E.2d 833 (2005), we reverse the Full Commission's order because plaintiff timely filed his claim under section 97-24(a)(ii) and remand for further proceedings.

Background

The facts of this case are largely undisputed. Plaintiff is a resident of Florida, and defendant-employer Summit Contractors Group, Inc. (" Summit" ) is a Florida company doing business in North Carolina. American Interstate Insurance Company (" AIIC" ) is Summit's carrier on the risk (collectively, Summit and AIIC are referred to as " defendants" ). In 2009, plaintiff was employed by Summit as a superintendent to supervise the construction of apartment complexes in Greensboro, North Carolina. While on the job on 5 August 2009, plaintiff injured his shoulder; he reported his injury to defendants the next morning. Plaintiff initially received medical care from a chiropractor in Greensboro, and, sometime thereafter returned to his home in Florida where he continued to receive medical treatment. On 12 August 2009, a " First Report of Injury or Illness" was filed on behalf of plaintiff with the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Workers' Compensation. Plaintiff received indemnity benefits for his injury under Florida law until 25 August 2011.

On 20 January 2012, more than two years after he was injured, plaintiff filed a Form 18 " Notice of Accident to Employer" with the North Carolina Industrial Commission for the 5 August 2009 injury. Defendants consequently filed a Form 61 " Denial of Workers' Compensation Claim" on 1 March 2012, asserting that the North Carolina Industrial Commission did not have jurisdiction over the matter because plaintiff did not file his claim with the Commission ...


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