Davis Adv. Sh. No. 1
THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Supreme Court
Jacqueline Minor, Respondent,
Philips Products and
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
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
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
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
TOAL, MOORE, WALLER and BURNETT, A.J., concur.