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Employer paid benefits, so can’t contest compensability
3/1/2012
 
A South Carolina company which paid indemnity and medical benefits to an injured worker for 15 months before challenging the injury waited too long, according to the South Carolina Court of Appeals which decided against the employer.

Martint Environmental started paying workers’ compensation benefits to its employee William Jervey immediately after a pipe Jervey was carrying spilled sulfuric acid on his neck, face, and back. He subsequently developed post-traumatic stress disorder and began having cervical disc problems.

But it wasn’t until Jervey sought treatment for his back problems that Martint challenged the injury, asserting it was not work-related.

“We find Martint's defense is barred by the doctrine of waiver and laches because Martint knew of its defense the day of the accident, yet it paid and has continued to pay Jervey disability compensation, and it did not assert the defense until at least 450 days after the accident,” the Court of Appeals ruled.