Michau v. Georgetown County

723 S.E.2d 805, 396 S.C. 589 (2012)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Michau v. Georgetown County

South Carolina Supreme Court
723 S.E.2d 805, 396 S.C. 589 (2012)

Facts

On September 29, 2008, Alexander Michau (plaintiff) sustained a repetitive-trauma injury to his shoulders during his employment with Georgetown County (Georgetown) (defendant). Michau was initially employed as a truck driver but switched to operating motor graders. Michau had filed a workers’-compensation claim after he operated the new motor-grader machine. In 1997 Michau sought treatment with Dr. Benjamin Lawless for arm and shoulder problems, experiencing arthritis-related symptoms. In 2005 Michau was referred for a total-body bone scan, which showed evidence of rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Lawless then referred Michau to a rheumatologist, Dr. Mitch Twinning, who diagnosed him with rheumatoid arthritis in May 2006. Michau continued treatment until June 2006. In December 2006, Michau was treated by orthopedic specialist Dr. Michael Bohan. According to Dr. Bohan, Michau’s X-ray showed significant degenerative arthritis, and Michau subsequently underwent surgery on his left shoulder. Dr. Bohan gave a letter to Michau’s attorney in November 2008, indicating that he believed, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that repetitive work activities resulted in severe osteoarthritis in both shoulders. Georgetown sought independent verification of the claim and had Dr. Chris Tountas perform a medical evaluation of Michau. Dr. Tountas issued his findings in a report. According to Dr. Tountas, Michau’s condition was a natural progression of a preexisting condition and was not related to his job. After Michau filed for workers’-compensation benefits against Georgetown, the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (the commission) denied his claim on the basis that the shoulder problems were related to a preexisting condition that was not caused or aggravated by his work. The commission based its decision on all evidence, including Dr. Tountas’s medical report. Michau appealed, contesting the admissibility of Dr. Tountas’s medical report on the basis that the report did not state its conclusions were “to a reasonable degree of medical certainty.”

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Toal, C.J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 734,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 734,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 734,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership