Adams v. Texfi Industries

464 S.E.2d 109, 320 S.C. 213 (1995)

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Adams v. Texfi Industries

South Carolina Supreme Court
464 S.E.2d 109, 320 S.C. 213 (1995)

Facts

In September 1990, William Jackson Adams was killed in an airplane crash during his employment with Texfi Industries (defendant). William was survived by his wife, Rosita Adams, adopted daughter, Ji Hae Kim Adams, and stepdaughter, Martina McKeown (collectively, the Adams family) (plaintiffs). At the time of William’s death, Ji and Martina were minors. The Adams family sought death benefits for all three of Rosita, Ji, and Martina. The workers’-compensation hearing commissioner presumed Martina was wholly dependent on William and determined Rosita should receive 50 percent of death benefits, and Ji and Martina should each receive 25 percent. The South Carolina Appellate Panel amended the findings, leaving Rosita with 50 percent, Ji with 50 percent, and Martina with 0 percent, on the basis that Martina was not entitled to the statutory presumption and, therefore, was not wholly dependent. According to the statutory presumption, a child was presumed to be wholly dependent for the purposes of receiving death benefits of a deceased employee. The Adams family appealed, and the South Carolina Circuit Court affirmed the panel’s decision, finding substantial evidence that Martina was not wholly dependent or dependent on William. The South Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed the decision. Certiorari to the South Carolina Supreme Court was granted.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Toal, J.)

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