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24731 - Jacqueline Minor v. Philips Products, et al.

Davis Adv. Sh. No. 1
S.E. 2d


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

In The Supreme Court

Jacqueline Minor, Respondent,

v.

Philips Products and

Gallagher Basset

Services, Inc., Appellants.

Appeal From York County

J. Buford Grier, Special Circuit Court Judge

Opinion No. 24731

Heard March 4, 1997 - Filed December 29, 1997

AFFIRMED

Stanford E. Lacy, of Collins & Lacy, P.C., of

Columbia, for appellants.

F. G. Delleney, Jr., of Hamilton, Hamilton,

Delleney, Gibbons, of Chester, for respondent.

FINNEY, C.J.: Appellants Philips Products and Gallagher

Basset appeal the circuit court judge's order upholding a determination by

the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission that respondent

Jacqueline Minor's injury was caused by a job related accident. We

affirm.

Minor sought workers' compensation benefits based upon an

accidental injury to her arm while employed by Philips Products. A hearing

was held before the single commissioner to determine compensability and

benefits payable if indicated. The commissioner found Minor was entitled to

p. 37


MINOR v. PHILLIPS PRODUCTS

temporary total compensation from the time she was out of work because of

her injury. Additionally, the commissioner held that Minor suffered a 12%

permanent partial impairment disability to her left upper extremity as a

result of an accidental injury on June 2, 1994. Appellants were ordered to

pay benefits. The single commissioner's order was affirmed by a workers'

compensation commission panel and the circuit court.

Appellants contend it was error to find Minor was injured by

accident. Instead they claim Minor has described a repetitive motion injury

which should be treated as an occupational disease.

A decision of the Workers' Compensation Commission must be

affirmed if the factual findings are supported by substantial evidence in the

record. Stokes v. First National Bank, 306 S.C. 46, 410 S.E.2d 248 (1991).

Substantial evidence is not a mere scintilla of evidence, but evidence which,

considering the record as a whole, would allow reasonable minds to reach the

conclusion the agency reached. Id.

The commissioner found that Minor injured her arm through an

aggravation that, coupled with a previous incident, brought the injury to the

status of an accident on June 2, 1994. The commissioner concluded Minor

suffered a compensable injury by accident arising out of and in the course

and scope of her employment. The commissioner relied on the deposition

testimony of Doctors Stone and Lehman concerning causation. Dr. Lehman

testified that Minor did not describe a specific event that brought on the pain

but rather, the pain began at a particular point in time. Dr. Lehman stated

the symptoms could have been caused by a single traumatic event. Dr. Stone

diagnosed Minor as having tendinitis and indicated that her injury could

have been caused by trauma to the tendon from strain in pulling something

hard. Minor testified that she felt pain on June 2 when pulling vinyl to

make a screen door. She described the pain as being sharp and causing her

to stop work. She stated she went to the office and was given a wrist band.

She testified she also felt a similar lighter pain previously in May. Minor

claimed the pain became worse on June 21 and she went to the doctor. Dr.

Stone testified that he first treated Minor for this injury on June 21, 1994.

We find substantial evidence in the record to support the single

commissioner's finding that the injury Minor complained of was caused by an

accident arising out of and in the course of her employment resulting in an

injury to her left arm and shoulder. Accordingly, the circuit court's order is

AFFIRMED.

TOAL, MOORE, WALLER and BURNETT, A.J., concur.

p. 38