Tucker v. SCDOTAnnotate this Case
Johnny Tucker injured his shoulder on May 2, 2011, while working at the South Carolina Department of Transportation. The commission found he "sustained 5% permanent partial disability . . . for which he is entitled to fifteen weeks of compensation." On May 2, 2013, Tucker filed a Form 50 asserting a claim for additional benefits on the basis that his condition caused by the 2011 injury had changed. Tucker checked the box on line 13a of the Form 50 indicating, "I am not requesting a hearing at this time." On July 30, 2014, Tucker filed another Form 50. This second Form 50 was identical to the first except this time he checked the box on line 13b indicating, "I am requesting a hearing." Petitioners, the Department of Transportation and the State Accident Fund, defended the claim on the basis that Tucker did not comply with the timing requirement of subsection 42-17-90(A). The subsection provided that when a party makes a claim based on a change of condition, "the review must not be made after twelve months from the date of the last payment of compensation pursuant to an award." Tucker received his last payment of compensation on November 28, 2012. The first Form 50 was filed within twelve months, but Tucker's request for a hearing in the second Form 50 did not occur within twelve months. The South Carolina Supreme Court rejected Petitioners' argument that satisfying this timing requirement was dependent on a claimant requesting a hearing within the time period set forth in South Carolina Code subsection 42-17-90(A) (2015). Rather, the Court held the timing requirement is satisfied upon the filing of a Form 50 to initiate the claim.