GREGG NEWTON (Raleigh) and MIKE CONNELL (Raleigh) recently won a case before the Industrial Commission – Vincent Daniel Dixon v. Rocky Mount Undergarment Company.  The Full Commission affirmed the Deputy Commissioner’s original decision to deny the plaintiff’s claim.  The claim involved a fall which occurred at work in April of 1986.  The claim was originally denied on grounds that the plaintiff’s fall was idiopathic in nature (the plaintiff had a history of fainting spells prior to the fall in question) and therefore did not arise out of the employment.  Before the claim went to hearing, however, the plaintiff requested and received a voluntary dismissal without prejudice and with leave to re-file within a year.  The plaintiff did not re-file his claim until his mother did so on his behalf in February of 1998, over 10 years after the dismissal but within a few months of having been declared legally incompetent.  The defendants again denied the claim on compensability grounds, but also contended that the claim was time barred as well.  The plaintiff argued that the claim was not time barred, alleging that he was incompetent during the relevant intervening time period.  The Full Commission affirmed the Deputy Commissioner’s original decision that the plaintiff’s claim was time barred, holding that the most reliable medical and other evidence showed that he had been legally competent for at least a year during the intervening time period.  The Full Commission even went further than the Deputy Commissioner by also holding that even if the claim was not time barred, the fall was idiopathic in nature and did not arise out of the employment.  The Full Commission also held that the plaintiff failed to prove that he suffered any disabling injury – physical or psychological (the plaintiff claimed the fall caused a closed head injury and also caused and/or aggravated/accelerated anxiety, depression, personality disorder and psychotic disorder as well) as a result of the fall.

The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer's or law firm's past results.


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