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2010-UP-497 - Outlaw v. Regan & Cantwell

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Holly Outlaw, Appellant,

v.

Regan & Cantwell, Employer, and Star Insurance Company, Carrier, Respondents.


Appeal From Charleston County
 George C. James, Jr., Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No.  2010-UP-497
Submitted November 1, 2010 – Filed November 8, 2010


AFFIRMED


Joyce Farr Cheeks, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Terri Morrill Lynch, of Charleston, for Respondents.

PER CURIAM: Holly Outlaw sought workers' compensation benefits for fibromyalgia, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, heart irregularity, lupus, and anxiety as a result of mental stress related to her employment.[1]  The single commissioner and the Appellate Panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission (Appellate Panel) denied her benefits, and the circuit court affirmed.  Outlaw appeals, arguing she proved exposure to unusual and extraordinary conditions meriting an award of benefits. 

We affirm[2] pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authorities:  S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-380(5) (Supp. 2009) (prohibiting an appellate court from "substitut[ing] its judgment for the judgment of the agency as to the weight of the evidence on questions of fact" in administrative matters); Baxter v. Martin Bros., 368 S.C. 510, 513, 630 S.E.2d 42, 43 (2006) (holding an appellate court reviewing a workers' compensation decision ascertains "whether the circuit court properly determined whether the [A]ppellate [P]anel's findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence in the record and whether the [P]anel's decision is affected by an error of law"); S.C. Second Injury Fund v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 353 S.C. 117, 122, 576 S.E.2d 199, 202 (Ct. App. 2003) ("'Substantial evidence' is evidence which, considering the entire record, would allow reasonable minds to arrive at the same conclusion reached by the administrative agency."); Etheredge v. Monsanto Co., 349 S.C. 451, 454-55, 562 S.E.2d 679, 681 (Ct. App. 2002) (stating the Appellate Panel is the ultimate fact finder in workers' compensation cases, is not bound by the single commissioner's findings of fact, and makes the final determination of witness credibility and the weight to be accorded evidence); Corbin v. Kohler Co., 351 S.C. 613, 618, 571 S.E.2d 92, 95 (Ct. App. 2002) ("'[T]he possibility of drawing two inconsistent conclusions from the evidence does not prevent an administrative agency's findings from being supported by substantial evidence.'" (quoting Muir v. C.R. Bard, Inc., 336 S.C. 266, 282, 519 S.E.2d 583, 591 (Ct. App. 1999))); S.C. Code Ann. § 42-1-160(B) & (C) (Supp. 2009) (defining which injuries are compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act, requiring that mental injuries unaccompanied by physical injuries be caused by employment conditions that "were extraordinary and unusual in comparison to the normal conditions of the particular employment," and excluding from compensability stress or mental injuries resulting "from any event or series of events which are incidental to normal employer/employee relations including, but not limited to, personnel actions by the employer such as disciplinary actions, work evaluations, . . . or terminations, except when these actions are taken in an extraordinary and unusual manner"); Shealy v. Aiken County, 341 S.C. 448, 457, 535 S.E.2d 438, 443 (2000) (finding mental injuries "are compensable accidental injuries under the statute when 'the emotional stimuli or stressors are incident to or arise from unusual or extraordinary conditions of employment,'" and requiring a court reviewing whether the conditions of a claimant's employment were unusual or extraordinary to compare the complained-of conditions to the usual and ordinary conditions of the claimant's particular job (quoting Powell v. Vulcan Materials Co., 299 S.C. 325, 327, 384 S.E.2d 725, 726 (1989))). 

AFFIRMED.

HUFF, KONDUROS, and LOCKEMY, JJ., concur.


[1] In a separate claim adjudicated contemporaneously with this claim, Outlaw sought and received an award for carpal tunnel syndrome. 

[2] We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.