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Collins v. Charlotte

Supreme Court of South Carolina

April 29, 2015

Gregory A. Collins (Deceased), Employee, Claimant, Respondent,
v.
Seko Charlotte and Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co., Petitioners,
v.
West Expedited & Delivery Service, Inc., Defendant,
v.
Seko Worldwide and Federal Ins. Co., Defendants,
v.
Uninsured Employers Fund, Respondent

Heard March 5, 2015.

Page 511

Appeal From the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission Appellate Panel. Appellate Case No. 2012-213425.

Weston Adams, III, of McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC, of Columbia, and Helen Faith Hiser, of McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC, of Mt. Pleasant, both for Petitioner.

Linda Byars McKenzie, of Bowen McKenzie & Bowen, LLP, of Greenville, and Timothy Blair Killen, of Willson Jones Carter & Baxley, P.A., of Columbia, for Respondents.

OPINION

[412 S.C. 286]ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS

Page 512

BEATTY, JUSTICE:

This matter is before the Court on a writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals to review the decision in Collins v. Charlotte, 400 S.C. 50, 732 S.E.2d 630 (Ct.App. 2012). The Court of Appeals reversed the Workers' Compensation Commission's (Commission) decision which found that Gregory Collins was not a statutory employee of Seko Charlotte at the time of his death. We affirm.

I. Facts

Collins worked for West Expedited & Delivery Service, Incorporated (West Expedited) and was killed in an automobile collision while returning to South Carolina after making a delivery in Wisconsin for Seko Charlotte. West Expedited, as a subcontractor, contracted with Seko Charlotte to make an interstate delivery of parts. Seko Charlotte, like West Expedited, is in the cargo delivery business.

Collins made deliveries to Wauwatosa and Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Although there is no written contract, Seko Charlotte engaged in business with West Expedited roughly two to three times per month. In this case, as was customary, Seko Charlotte paid West Expedited for mileage one way, however, West Expedited included the cost of the return trip in the mileage rate charged Seko Charlotte.

As a result of Collins' work-related death, Collins' dependents filed a workers' compensation claim against West Expedited[1] Seko Worldwide, Federal Insurance Company, Seko Charlotte[2] and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company [412 S.C. 287] (Nationwide).[3] The case was heard by a single commissioner of the Workers' Compensation Commission. The single commissioner applied the three tests ...


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