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2008-UP-608 - Burwell v. Ponderosa, Inc.

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals


Jeremy Scott Burwell, Appellant,

v.

Ponderosa, Inc. d/b/a Pirate Land Campground, Employer, and The Hartford, Carrier, Respondents.


Appeal From Horry County
 J. Michael Baxley, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No.  2008-UP-608
Submitted November 3, 2008 – Filed November 6, 2008


AFFIRMED


C. Daniel Vega, of Columbia, for Appellant.

John McIntyre Tolar and Weston Adams, III, both of Columbia, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Jeremy Scott Burwell appeals the circuit court’s order denying coverage because he failed to provide his employer, Pirate Land Campground (Employer), with timely notice of the injuries he sustained.  Specifically, he argues the circuit court erred in affirming the Appellate Panel’s order because 1) Employer had notice in fact of his injuries; 2) Burwell provided a reasonable excuse for failing to give notice; and 3) Employer was not prejudiced from the late notice.  We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b), SCACR, and the following authorities. 

1.  As to the question of whether the Appellate Panel erred in finding Burwell failed to provide timely notice:  S.C. Code Ann. § 42-15-20 (A) (Supp. 2007) (requiring injured employees give notice to employers of an accident “unless it can be shown that the employer . . . had knowledge of the accident . . . .”); S.C. Code Ann. §42-15-20 (B) (Supp. 2007) (“[N]o compensation shall be payable unless such notice is given within ninety days after the occurrence of the accident . . . .”); Lizee v. S.C. Dept. of Mental Health, 367 S.C. 122, 127, 623 S.E.2d 860, 863 (Ct. App. 2005) (holding the claimant bears the burden of proving compliance with the statutory notice requirements); Rogers v. Kunja Knitting Mills, Inc., 312 S.C. 377, 380, 440 S.E.2d 401, 403 (Ct. App. 1994) (“The final determination of witness credibility and the weight to be accorded evidence is reserved to the [Appellate Panel] and it is not the task of the [appellate] court to weigh the evidence as found by the [Appellate Panel].”).

2.  As to whether the Appellate Panel erred in finding Burwell did not provide a reasonable excuse for failing to provide notice:          S.C. Code Ann. §42-15-20 (B) (Supp. 2007) (asserting unless injured employees give notice within ninety days of the accident “no compensation shall be payable . . . unless reasonable excuse is made to the satisfaction of the [Appellate Panel] for not giving timely notice, and the [Appellate Panel] is satisfied that the employer has not been prejudiced thereby”). 

3.  As to whether the Appellate Panel erred in finding Employer was prejudiced:  Gray v. Laurens Mills, 231 S.C. 488, 492, 99 S.E.2d 36, 38 (1957) (“[L]ack of prejudice does not justify compensation unless the requirement of reasonable excuse is also satisfied.”); see also Ringer v. Graham, 286 S.C. 14, 20, 331 S.E.2d 373, 377 (Ct. App. 1985) (determining discussion of remaining issues was unnecessary after reversing a directed verdict). 

AFFIRMED.

ANDERSON, HUFF, and THOMAS, JJ., concur.