In May 2013 the North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed a determination by the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) having to do with the payment of benefits in an asbestos workers’ compensation case involving mesothelioma.
Essentially, this appellate court ruling states that the NCIC erred when determining which insurer was responsible for paying benefits to an asbestos claimant who had developed the asbestos cancer mesothelioma — as opposed asbestosis, which is chronic pulmonary fibrosis caused by prolonged and regular exposure to asbestos dust.
In this unpublished appellate opinion, Richardson v. PCS Phosphate Co., the NC Court of Appeals found that the Industrial Commission had incorrectly used the standard for asbestosis, instead of mesothelioma, cases when determining the plaintiff’s so-called “last injurious exposure”. This determination is critical in asbestos-related workers comp (WC) claims in North Carolina because it determines which employer and/or its insurance company is responsible for paying WC benefits to the worker or his family.
Specifically, this recent 2013 NC court ruling about the last injurious exposure standard held that the requirement in N.C.G.S. section 97-57 — a 30 day exposure to asbestos dust within seven (7) consecutive months — did not apply to mesothelioma cases but, rather, only to asbestosis cases in North Carolina.
For more information, see:
- NC Workers Compensation Asbestos Claim: How to Identify Which Company Is the Responsible Employer
- North Carolina Workers Compensation Asbestos Disease Claims Filing Deadline
Asbestos-Mesothelioma Case Evaluation Form
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