Administrative Law

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.  Continue reading

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A Remand Order Under the APA Is Not a Final Judgment

In Bone v. U.S. Food Service, the supreme court held that “final judgment” as used in S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-390 (Supp. 2012) means “something that finally disposes of the whole subject matter of the action or terminates the action, leaving nothing to be done but to execute the judgment.”

Cathy Bone power washed and cleaned the inside of trucks for United States Food Service.  On June 26, 2007, she allegedly injured her back while lifting two pallets inside a trailer to clean underneath them.  She did not report the injury to her employer at the time.  On July 3rd, Bone was late for work because one of her car tires was flat.  When she got to work, she was crying and complained about her back being hurt on June 26th.  Her supervisors denied her claim for workers’ compensation because they believed the injury occurred when the tire was being changed and not on June 26th as she alleged.  Continue reading

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The South Carolina Board of Dentistry Is Immune from Suit Under the Tort Claims Act

In Health Promotion Specialists, LLC v. South Carolina Board of Dentistry, the supreme court held that the South Carolina Board of Dentistry (Board) receives immunity from tort suits such that the plaintiffs could not file suit against the Board for promulgating an emergency regulation.

The General Assembly has enacted laws to “authorize, subject to certain restrictions, dental hygienists to provide various oral health services in public settings, including schools.”  The Board is the regulatory authority for dentists and dental hygienists in South Carolina.  See S.C. Code Ann. § 40-15-20 (2011).  The General Assembly amended the laws concerning oral health services in school to create fewer restrictions for dental hygienists to provide preventive dental services in schools. Continue reading

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A Phone Conversation with a Staff Member of DHEC Is Not a “staff decision”

In Amisub of South Carolina, Inc. v. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the supreme court held that the ALC lacked subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate the case because there was not a staff decision to give rise to a contested case.

Carolina Healthcare System (CHS) sought to open a medical office in Fort Mill and filed a request with DHEC to confirm that its building did not require a Certificate of Need (CON) review.  Subsequently, a DHEC staff member confirmed that the “project does not require Certificate of Need review because it is an expenditure by a health care facility for a non-medical project.”  Continue reading

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The State Budget and Control Board Cannot Change What the General Assembly Tells It to Do

In Hampton v. Haley, the supreme court held that the Budget and Control Board violated the separation of powers doctrine by unilaterally making state employees pay part of a premium increase for health care when the General Assembly allocated and directed funds to pay for the premium increase instead of the employees.

In November 2011, the Board produced a memorandum discussing the state employee health plan for the fiscal year 2012-13.  Continue reading

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The Court Won’t Force Someone to Do Something He Has Already Done

In South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission v. Loftis, the supreme court unanimously held that once Curtis Loftis, custodian of the South Carolina Retirement Systems Group Trust, performed the act sought in the petition for the writ of mandamus, it is “impossible for this Court to issue a writ of mandamus compelling Loftis to perform the act in question.”  Continue reading

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