— Posts About Valerie Johnson

Court Dismisses Appeal as Sought by Patterson Harkavy in Workers’ Comp Case

In Evans v. Hendrick Automotive Group, the North Carolina Court of Appeals published this opinion, ruling that defendants improperly appealed a non-final decision of the Industrial Commission, and dismissing their appeal.  Ms. Evans was an office manager for a Hendrick dealership in Texas.  She was injured during a business trip to Charlotte, while she was walking back from an employer-sponsored dinner to her hotel.  The primary issue is whether the Industrial Commission correctly concluded that Ms. Evans’ accident arose out of and was in the course of her employment and properly awarded her workers’ compensation benefits.  The case now returns to the Commission.  Narendra Ghosh helped represent Ms. Evans.

Categories: Judicial Decisions, Results Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Forsyth County Win!

On Monday, December 6, firm partners Leto Copeley (Chapel Hill) and Ann Groninger (Charlotte) obtained a $250,000.00 verdict in Forsyth County Superior Court on behalf of their client, Thomas M. Sprinkle, against Hammaker East Emulsions, LLC, an asphalt manufacturing company.

Mr. Sprinkle was working for his employer Blythe Industries as a tack distributor truck driver on December 3, 2008, the day of his injury.  That morning his truck was empty and he drove to Hammaker East to have the truck loaded with tack.  After directing him to the loading dock and inserting the pipe into his truck, a Hammaker employee told Mr. Sprinkle that the pipes were clogged and it would be a little while before the tack started flowing.  Mr. Sprinkle remained on top of his truck, as he normally did, waiting for the tack to flow.  What he did not know, because Hammaker employees failed to tell him, was that, when the clog loosened, it would come out with a big “kapow.”  He also did not know that, in addition to blowing air through, and heating the pipes, the Hammaker employees left on the valve that allowed tack to flow from their system into Mr. Sprinkle’s truck.  When the clog finally loosened, the pipe came bursting out of the truck, spraying tack all over the truck and Mr. Sprinkle and knocking Mr. Sprinkle more than 10 feet to the ground.

Mr. Sprinkle’s knee was “pulverized” according to his doctor.  He had a complicated surgery to reconstruct his knee, a long period of recovery, and will likely need knee replacement surgery in the future.  After knocking him off his truck, Hammaker employees left Mr. Sprinkle sitting outside in the below-freezing temperature, until his supervisor arrived and called 911.  There was testimony that Hammaker’s plant manager, Bryan Miller, was slurring his words and reeked of alcohol immediately after Mr. Sprinkle’s fall.

Attorneys Valerie Johnson and Narendra Ghosh and paralegal Elizabeth Weatherspoon provided valuable assistance throughout the trial.

Categories: News of the Firm, Results Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

North Carolina Supreme Court Denies Review in Taylor v. Town of Garner; Win for Plaintiff

The North Carolina Supreme Court denied the defendants’ petition for discretionary review (PDR) in Taylor v. Town of Garner.  The Court of Appeals decided earlier this year that Officer Taylor is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from the Town of Garner for the injury he suffered while working as a mounter officer at an N.C. State football game.  Because Officer Taylor was working pursuant to a mutual aid and assistance agreement between the Town of Garner and N.C. State, Garner remained responsible for his workers’ compensation.  The Court’s denial of the PDR means that Officer Taylor will finally receive his benefits.  Valerie Johnson and Narendra Ghosh represent Officer Taylor.

Categories: Results Tags: , , , , ,

Patterson Harkavy Wins Workers’ Compensation Case for Police Officer in Court of Appeals

In Taylor v. Town of Garner, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Industrial Commission, agreeing that Officer Taylor is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from the Town of Garner for the injury he suffered while working as a mounter officer at an N.C. State football game.  Because Officer Taylor was working pursuant to a mutual aid and assistance agreement between the Town of Garner and N.C. State, Garner remained responsible for his workers’ compensation.  Valerie Johnson and Narendra Ghosh are representing Officer Taylor.

Further analysis from the Court’s Opinion: Read more…

Categories: Judicial Decisions, News of the Firm Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Brief Filed for Dealership Manager in Workers’ Compensation Appeal

In Evans v. Hendrick Automotive Group, we have filed this brief with the North Carolina Court of Appeals in this workers’ compensation case.  Ms. Evans was an office manager for a Hendrick dealership in Texas.  She was injured during a business trip to Charlotte, while she was walking back from an employer-sponsored dinner to her hotel.  The primary issue is whether the Industrial Commission correctly concluded that Ms. Evans’ accident arose out of and was in the course of her employment.  Valerie Johnson and Narendra Ghosh are representing Ms. Evans.

Here is the summary of our argument:  Read more…

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Brief Filed for Bus Driver in Workers’ Compensation Appeal

In Garner v. Capital Area Transit, we have filed this brief with the North Carolina Court of Appeals in this workers’ compensation case.  Ms. Garner is a bus driver with Capital Area Transit in Raleigh who was injured was injured when another bus hit the bus she was driving.  The primary issue is whether the Industrial Commission had any basis for ignoring the doctor’s opinion that the accident aggravated Ms. Garner’s pre-existing back condition.  Valerie Johnson and Narendra Ghosh are representing Ms. Garner. Read more…

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Brief Filed for Police Officer in Workers’ Compensation Appeal

In Taylor v. Town of Garner, we have filed this brief with the North Carolina Court of Appeals in this workers’ compensation case.  Officer Taylor in a veteran of the Garner police force who was injured while providing official inter-agency assistance at an N.C. State football game.  The primary issue is whether the Town of Garner is solely liable for Officer Taylor’s compensation, or whether both Garner and N.C. State are liable.  Garner should be liable because Office Taylor was working at N.C. State pursuant to an official mutual aid and assistance agreement between Garner and N.C. State.  Valerie Johnson and Narendra Ghosh are representing Officer Taylor.

Read more…

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Burton, Hank, Mike, and Jonathan Recognized as North Carolina “Super Lawyers”

Four of Patterson Harkavy’s attorneys have been named North Carolina “Super Lawyers” for 2010 in a recent study by Law & Politics magazine.  The findings are published in the February 2010 edition of the North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine.

Patterson Harkavy’s 2010 North Carolina “Super Lawyers” are:

  • Burton Craige — Personal Injury: Medical Malpractice
  • Hank Patterson — Workers’ Compensation
  • Michael Okun — Labor & Employment Law
  • Jonathan Harkavy — Alternative Dispute Resolution

In addition, Jonathan Harkavy was named to the list of the Top 100 attorneys in North Carolina.

Law & Politics conducts a regional survey of lawyers who have been in practice for at least five years, asking them to nominate the best attorneys they’ve personally observed in action.  In addition, the magazine’s attorney-led research department reviews nominees’ credentials based on a set of evaluation criteria.  To ensure a diverse and well-balanced list, the research staff considers factors such as firm size, practice area and geographic location.

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2009 Workers’ Compensation CLE Session on Benefits for State Employees

Valerie Johnson is speaking at tomorrow’s NCAJ 2009 Workplace Torts and Workers’ Compensation CLE, to be held in Chapel Hill.  Valerie’s presentation topic and paper are entitled State Employee Benefits and Workers’ Comp: 2009 Update.  One of the significant changes to be discussed is that Corvel Corporation is now the administrator of workers’ comp benefits on behalf of the State, taking the place of Key Risk earlier this year.

Summary: Although the interaction between the state employee benefits system and the workers’ compensation system has some points of friction that have been the source of litigation, as a general rule, the two systems fit together fairly neatly. This paper provides a broad overview of the benefits available to state employees from the State and discusses how the receipt of workers’ compensation benefits would affect these benefits. Finally, it discusses how the careful structuring of settlements can mitigate or avoid offsets of workers’ compensation benefits against benefits from the State.

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2009 WILG Conference Session on Workers’ Compensation for Undocumented Workers

Valerie Johnson is speaking at the 2009 annual conference of the Workers Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WLIG), to be held in Denver from October 16-19.  WILG is a national non-profit membership organization dedicated to representing the interests of injured workers.

Valerie is presenting on the “Hop Topics” panel, and will be discussing recent developments concerning the representation of undocumented workers with claims for workers’ compensation.  The paper being presented, “Benefits for Undocumented Workers and Obstacles in the Way,” written by Valerie and Narendra Ghosh, is here.  Click through for a summary of the paper: Read more…

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