A North Carolina employer has been ordered to pay workers’ compensation benefits to a worker whose shoulder injury was caused by a work accident. Not only that, but also the North Carolina Court of Appeals ordered the company to pay a 10 percent penalty for failing to file its request to terminate the plaintiff’s disability compensation with the industrial commission after her unsuccessful trial return to the job.
The plaintiff worked for the defendant employer as a tire builder. While pulling at a tire, she felt her right shoulder “pop.” She was examined by a physician, who determined she suffered a “SLAP” injury, which is an injury that affects the labrum, or the ring of cartilage surrounding the socket of the shoulder joint.
She filed a claim for benefits, and a deputy commissioner awarded the plaintiff benefits for the injury to her shoulder and found her entitled to payment of future necessary medical compensation related to her injury. That was in 2007. Three years later, the plaintiff suffered another injury at work to that same shoulder. Both sides agreed this was an exacerbation injury, meaning it was a continuance of the previous injury.