Mission Hospital in Asheville Penalized in Worker Compensation Case

Mission Hospital in Asheville Penalized in Worker Compensation Case
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Asheville's Mission Hospital has been fined for the way it handled yet another workers' compensation case in what one state official calls a "probably deliberate" violation of NC state rules.

A deputy commissioner for the North Carolina Industrial Commission fined the hospital $500 and ordered that it pay late fees in a decision awarding benefits that the hospital had previously denied a former nurse who suffered a serious fall at work in May of 2009. The fall knocked out three of her teeth and broke bones in her right arm and leg.

Ongoing numbness in Cathy Goff's fingers and severe neck pain were attributed to her fall at the hospital by her physician.

Mission Hospital had been paying out benefits to Goff, but ceased doing so when she said that she could not return to work as a result of her continuing pains.

By not properly notifying Goff that her benefits were being terminated, Mission was in violation of Industrial Commission rules.

This is just the most recent in a handful of workers' compensation cases where Mission Hospital has been directed to pay plaintiffs' attorney fees by deputy commissioners, the Industrial Commission or state appellate courts as a penalty for failing to handle the cases appropriately.

Some of the accusations against Mission have included withholding evidence, denying benefits claims without credible medical evidence, making false statements to employees or former employees, as well as requiring a former employee to pick up paychecks in person instead of mailing them, which is a violation of NC state law.

Mission Hospital has appeal the decision in the Goff case.

In a statement Mary silver, manager of workers' compensation at Mission, says that hospital 'strives to create a safe working environment for our valued employees. We constantly review our policies and procedures to provide our employees with a safe work environment and prompt assistance if they are injured.'