Sam Sammataro clerked for the Honorable C. Weston Houck, United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina, prior to joining Turner Padget's Columbia office in 2003. His practice is focused on product liability and professional negligence defense litigation and appeals. With experience in complex litigation and appellate matters, Sam understands the importance of efficiency and a keen attention to detail to ensure optimal results for his clients. He also is active in the Columbia community, where he follows Gamecock sports and is a member of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
- Prevailed in the South Carolina Court of Appeals where workers' compensation claimant alleged injury by accident when she fell on a public sidewalk outside her place of employment. The court affirmed the denial of benefits where the claimant was not on her employer's premises when she fell, her injury did not fit within a recognized exception to the "going and coming" rule, and no causal relationship existed between claimant's fall and her employment. Matute v. Palmetto Health Baptist, ___S.E.2d__, 2011 WL 204898.
- Obtained a significant ruling from the South Carolina Supreme Court reaffirming the traditional formulation of the economic loss rule in South Carolina outside of the residential construction arena that there is no liability in tort in a product liability action where the only injury is to the product itself. Going forward, manufacturers, insurers and consumers involved in product liability actions will have a clear, workable framework for application of the economic loss rule in cases where the sole damage is to the product at issue.
- Obtained a favorable result in the South Carolina Court of Appeals for an employer in a workers’ compensation case where the claimant sought lifetime payments and a finding of total and permanent disability arising from workplace exposure to perfumes and cleaning agents. The court affirmed the denial of benefits because the risk of exposure was not unique to the claimant’s employment and, therefore, her alleged injury did not arise out of and in the course of the employment.
- Prevailed on an emergency petition in the South Carolina Supreme Court to reverse a circuit court order requiring the payment of additional benefits following the remand of the claim to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
- The employee sustained a work-related back injury and returned to work five days later with restrictions. The employer accommodated his restrictions, assigned him to light duty work, and paid his full salary. Roughly two months later, the employee violated company policy. He also acknowledged prior infractions of company policy. The employee was suspended, reinstated, and, after review by corporate human resources personnel, terminated. The employee then filed a claim for temporary total disability compensation from the date of his termination and continuing. The single commissioner, affirmed by the Full Commission, denied benefits on the basis that the employee was terminated for violating company policy and, therefore, he could not prove a nexus between the injury and his inability to earn income. Affirming the Commission’s denial of benefits, the South Carolina Supreme Court rejected the contention that the law mandates payment of temporary benefits, regardless of the factual circumstances of a given case, whenever an employee is discharged from an accommodated, light duty position.
- Obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a major automotive manufacturer against a claim that a defective transmission allowed the plaintiff’s sport utility vehicle to engage the reverse gear and run her over. Sam’s thorough review of the plaintiff’s medical records was crucial in persuading the jury that she was not injured as she claimed.
- Prevailed in a maritime arbitration claim in which the insurer of an overtaking vessel sought over $50,000 for damages that the vessel sustained as it collided with a pontoon boat on Lake Murray.
- Successfully mediated an automotive products liability subrogation claim in which an insurer sought to recover damages resulting from a fire caused by an allegedly defective component.
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