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A Remand To the Workers’ Compensation Commission is not a Final Decision that Can be Appealed Pursuant to Bone v. United States Food Services

In Martinez v. Spartanburg County, the supreme court held that the court of appeals erred by hearing an appeal from a circuit court decision, and remanded the case to the Workers’ Compensation Committee.

Raquel Martinez was a master deputy forensic investigator.  She had investigated an accident where a police officer, and former coworker of Martinez, had driven a car over his daughter, killing her.  Thereafter, Martinez suffered a mental breakdown and filed a workers’ compensation claim. 

The single commissioner and the appellate panel determined that the claim was not compensable.  She appealed to the circuit court, which reversed and remanded the case.  Spartanburg County appealed that decision to the court of appeals, which reversed the circuit court.

Martinez appealed to the supreme court, which vacated the court of appeals’ opinion and remanded the case to the Workers’ Compensation Commission.  The court’s decision in this case was based largely on its prior decision in Bone v. United States Food Services, which the supreme court decided on June 26, 2013, and the opinion was discussed in a post entitled: “A Remand Order Under the APA Is Not a Final Judgment.”  In that case, the supreme court decided that an order from the Workers’ Compensation Commission is not appealable unless it is a final judgment.  The Bone court held that a remand was not a final judgment and, thus, not immediately appealable.

In Martinez, the circuit court remanded the case back to the Workers’ Compensation Commission, which under Bone, is not a final judgment.

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