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N.C. Court of Appeals Upholds Worker’s Right to Attorney Fees

A recent N.C. Court of Appeals ruling upheld a finding by the N.C. Industrial Commission to award attorney fees to a permanently disabled worker who contracted asbestosis and silicosis as a result of his employment.

The N.C. Industrial Commission ruled on the case involving FMC Corporation and an employee. In October 2011, the N.C. Industrial Commission found that the man had been "permanently and totally disabled as a result of his asbestosis" as of June 18, 2006.

Paperwork5_07312014The commission awarded the man permanent total disability benefits at a rate of $730 per week for the remainder of his life. The man was also awarded "a reasonable attorney's fee of $12,000, not to be deducted from the sums due to Plaintiff."

The defendant, FMC Corporation, appealed the decision to award attorney's fees, citing N.C. General Statute 97-88.1, which states that if the Industrial Commission finds that a case "has been brought, prosecuted, or defended without reasonable ground, it may assess the whole cost of the proceedings including reasonable fees for defendant's attorney or plaintiff's attorney." FMC Corporation contended that the case was defended on reasonable grounds, and therefore, it should not have to pay attorney fees.

The N.C. Court of Appeals reviewed testimony presented about the man's injuries and concluded that "the expert medical testimony in this case demonstrates that there was no genuine basis for Defendant's denial or defense of Plaintiff's claim."

Contact Information

Raleigh Law Office

5848-100 Faringdon Place
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

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280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

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Fayetteville, NC 28304
Phone: 910-488-0611
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Charlotte, NC 28262
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New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
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Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

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300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
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Goldsboro Law Office

214 South William Street, Suite 3
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Phone: (919)-731-2581
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514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
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709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
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3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
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703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
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Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
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Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078