Stokes v. First Nat. Bank, No. 23497

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtFINNEY; GREGORY, C.J., HARWELL and CHANDLER, JJ., and BRUCE LITTLEJOHN
Citation306 S.C. 46,410 S.E.2d 248
PartiesDanny W. STOKES, Respondent, v. FIRST NATIONAL BANK and Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance Underwriters, Petitioners. . Heard
Docket NumberNo. 23497
Decision Date09 May 1990

Page 248

410 S.E.2d 248
306 S.C. 46
Danny W. STOKES, Respondent,
v.
FIRST NATIONAL BANK and Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance
Underwriters, Petitioners.
No. 23497.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Heard May 9, 1990.
Decided Oct. 14, 1991.

Page 249

[306 S.C. 47] Jackson L. Barwick, Jr., and S. Markey Stubbs, both of Belser, Baker, Barwick, Ravenel and Bender, Columbia, for petitioners.

Preston F. McDaniel and John K. Koon, Columbia, for respondent.

Samuel F. Painter, of Nexsen, Pruet, Jacobs and Pollard, Columbia, for amicus curiae, South Carolina Self-Insurers Ass'n.

Kay G. Crowe, of Barnes, Alford, Stork & Johnson, [306 S.C. 48] Columbia, for amicus curiae South Carolina Defense Trial Attys. Ass'n.

Kathryn N. Williams, Greenville, for amicus curiae South Carolina Trial Lawyers Ass'n.

M. Terry Haselden, Spartanburg, for amicus curiae Association of South Carolina Claimant Attys. for Workers' Compensation.

FINNEY, Justice:

This workers' compensation case is before this Court on a writ of certiorari from the Court of Appeals, Stokes v. First National Bank, 298 S.C. 13, 377 S.E.2d 922 (Ct.App.1988). The petitioners, First National Bank B, and Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance Underwriters, 1 appeal the Court of Appeals' holding that Respondent Danny W. Stokes (Stokes) is entitled to workers' compensation benefits for a nervous breakdown caused by emotional stimuli or stressors alone. We affirm.

Stokes was employed as Vice President in charge of item processing at FNB's Operations Center where he supervised 130 employees and four managers. In 1983 management announced that FNB would merge with South Carolina National Bank (SCN). As a result of merger activity and the resignation of one of his managers, the record reflects that Stokes' work hours increased from approximately 45 hours per week to 60 hours per week in January 1984; then to workdays of 12 to 15 hours in July 1984, and 16 to 18 hours after November 10, 1984.

Page 250

FNB and SCN merged on December 1, 1984. Stokes worked at SCN until December 9, 1984, when he was hospitalized as the result of a nervous breakdown. Subsequently, Stokes attempted to return to work but was terminated. He filed for workers' compensation, and a single commissioner found that on or before November 30, 1984, Stokes suffered bodily injury of a general psychological nature as a result of [306 S.C. 49] the unusual and extraordinary conditions of his employment with FNB. The commissioner found a 50% permanent partial disability and awarded Stokes $268.99 per week for 340 weeks. On appeal, the full commission, circuit court and Court of Appeals affirmed the commissioner's order.

Petitioners first argue that this was not an "injury by accident" under the Workers' Compensation law.

The Court of Appeals, in part, defined an accident as "an injury occurring unexpectedly from the operation of internal or subjective conditions, without the prior occurrence of any external event of an accidental character." Stokes, 377 S.E.2d at 924 (quoting Colvin v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours Co., 227 S.C. 465, 468, 88 S.E.2d 581, 582 (1955). The Court of Appeals concluded that Stokes' unusual and excessively increased workload constituted an unusual and extraordinary condition of employment which rendered his resulting nervous breakdown a compensable accident. We agree.

The South...

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57 practice notes
  • Southwire Co. v. George, No. S95G1507
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • June 3, 1996
    ...Root Constr. Co. v. Duckworth, 475 So.2d 813 (Miss.1985); Stokes v. First Nat'l Bank, 298 S.C. 13, 377 S.E.2d 922 (Ct.App.1988), aff'd, 306 S.C. 46, 410 S.E.2d 248 (1991); Jose v. Equifax, Inc., 556 S.W.2d 82 (Tenn.1977); Bailey v. American Gen. Ins. Co., 154 Tex. 430, 279 S.W.2d 315 (1955)......
  • Dunlavey v. Economy Fire and Cas. Co., No. 93-1429
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 18, 1995
    ...compensable under chapter 85 of the Iowa Code. Accord Stokes v. First Nat'l Bank, 298 S.C. 13, 377 S.E.2d 922, 927 (Ct.App.1988), aff'd, 306 S.C. 46, 410 S.E.2d 248 (1991). As the district court [O]nce all of the arguments are considered, and giving due deference to the commissioner's views......
  • Aughtry v. Abbeville County Sch. Dist., No. 2835.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 13, 1998
    ...reached in order to justify its action. Miller v. State Roofing Co., 312 S.C. 452, 441 S.E.2d 323 (1994); Stokes v. First Nat'l Bank, 306 S.C. 46, 410 S.E.2d 248 (1991). The general policy is to construe the Workers' Compensation Act in favor of coverage rather than exclusion. Baggott, LAW/......
  • Sharpe v. Case Produce Co., No. 2775
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 2, 1997
    ...reached in order to justify its action. Miller v. State Roofing Co., 312 S.C. 452, 441 S.E.2d 323 (1994); Stokes v. First Nat'l Bank, 306 S.C. 46, 410 S.E.2d 248 (1991). While a finding of fact of the Commission will normally be upheld, such a finding may not be based upon surmise, conjectu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
57 cases
  • Southwire Co. v. George, No. S95G1507
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • June 3, 1996
    ...Root Constr. Co. v. Duckworth, 475 So.2d 813 (Miss.1985); Stokes v. First Nat'l Bank, 298 S.C. 13, 377 S.E.2d 922 (Ct.App.1988), aff'd, 306 S.C. 46, 410 S.E.2d 248 (1991); Jose v. Equifax, Inc., 556 S.W.2d 82 (Tenn.1977); Bailey v. American Gen. Ins. Co., 154 Tex. 430, 279 S.W.2d 315 (1955)......
  • Dunlavey v. Economy Fire and Cas. Co., No. 93-1429
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 18, 1995
    ...compensable under chapter 85 of the Iowa Code. Accord Stokes v. First Nat'l Bank, 298 S.C. 13, 377 S.E.2d 922, 927 (Ct.App.1988), aff'd, 306 S.C. 46, 410 S.E.2d 248 (1991). As the district court [O]nce all of the arguments are considered, and giving due deference to the commissioner's views......
  • Aughtry v. Abbeville County Sch. Dist., No. 2835.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 13, 1998
    ...reached in order to justify its action. Miller v. State Roofing Co., 312 S.C. 452, 441 S.E.2d 323 (1994); Stokes v. First Nat'l Bank, 306 S.C. 46, 410 S.E.2d 248 (1991). The general policy is to construe the Workers' Compensation Act in favor of coverage rather than exclusion. Baggott, LAW/......
  • Sharpe v. Case Produce Co., No. 2775
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 2, 1997
    ...reached in order to justify its action. Miller v. State Roofing Co., 312 S.C. 452, 441 S.E.2d 323 (1994); Stokes v. First Nat'l Bank, 306 S.C. 46, 410 S.E.2d 248 (1991). While a finding of fact of the Commission will normally be upheld, such a finding may not be based upon surmise, conjectu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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