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Michael E. Chase

Shareholder | Columbia, SC |

mchase@turnerpadget.com   |   vcard   |   803-227-4241

Biography

Mike Chase is a shareholder and co-leader of Turner Padget’s nationally-recognized Workplace Law Group, providing practical counsel to businesses across South Carolina. Chase oversees the firm’s Workers’ Compensation Practice. 

His primary role includes the defense of workers’ compensation claims, representing employers, manufacturers, carriers and self-insured clients throughout South Carolina.  

Devoting most of his practice to workers’ compensation defense and mediation, Mike is approved panel counsel for nearly all workers’ compensation carriers in South Carolina. His current client focus is with large accounts, while simultaneously managing a large volume of work for several carriers and self-insured employers. His clients include hospital systems, grocery store chains, airlines, trucking and transportation companies, package delivery services, distribution facilities, national big box stores, restaurant chains, retail outlets and construction firms.

Mike enjoys learning about an employer’s business from a risk management and workers’ compensation claims management standpoint. He often assists his clients in developing and updating their workers’ compensation claims procedures, including investigation and documentation of claims. Mike believes that employers benefit best from a well-planned claims management process that begins day one of an accident.

As a South Carolina Supreme Court Certified Civil Court Mediator, Mike appreciates the challenge of assisting his clients in avoiding the time, frustration and financial costs of litigation. He takes great pride in providing effective and efficient solutions for even the most complicated workers’ compensation claims.

As legal adviser for the South Carolina Self Insurers Association, Mike provides counsel to the organization’s board of directors related to workers’ compensation laws and procedures in the state. He also assists in planning the annual members-only conference and annual meeting, and frequently serves as a speaker to discuss South Carolina workers’ compensation issues.

Mike is an active member in the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS), the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association and the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Association.

Mike has been frequently recognized among his peers for his knowledge of South Carolina workers’ compensation laws and procedure, and has been honored with awards from Best Lawyers in America, Columbia Metropolitan and Martindale-Hubbell.

Mike earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of South Carolina.

Mike grew up in Charlotte, N.C., but has been a resident of South Carolina since his days as an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina. He is a deacon and teacher at First Baptist Church of Columbia, where he and his family are active members. He is a board member of Ben Lippen School. Mike enjoys rooting for the Gamecocks, playing golf, fishing and spending time with his family.

Representative Matters

Workers’ Compensation

  • Successfully defended Westinghouse Savannah River Site (SRS) through the course of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Former Worker Screening Program, which resulted in a multitude of workers’ compensation claims. This government program entitled each surviving former worker to a free medical screening to determine if they may have any compensable injuries as a result of working at SRS. These claims were aggressively investigated, and Mike worked closely with the employer and carrier to resolve each one through settlement or litigation. On-site file reviews and strategy conferences helped manage the large volume of claims and kept the client involved in the entire process. This resulted in early resolution of many claims.
  • Represented Georgetown Steel and ESIS/ACE USA in a large number of hearing loss claims filed simultaneously by claimants’ counsel on behalf of most every surviving former employee of the plant. Through discovery including a full medical history, independent medical opinions and depositions, Mike achieved a successful resolution. In many of the cases, the employer was dismissed altogether.
  • Prevailed in an appellate matter in which Mike defended an employer in a South Carolina workers’ compensation case in which the plaintiff claimed chemical exposure that resulted in an occupational disease and total disability. The issues of the case included compensability, notice of the alleged accident and the statute of limitations.  This decision is precedent for the strict application of the Administrative Procedures Act, which mandates that the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission take the evidence, judge the credibility and weight of that evidence, and from that judgment determine the facts of the case. As a result, the Circuit Court’s role is appellate only, and is limited to deciding whether the Commission’s decision is not supported by substantial evidence.
  • Mike recently won another appellate case, this one in 2009. In this South Carolina Court of Appeals case, the claimant appealed the denial by the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission that her exposure to perfume in a hospital setting where she worked caused her permanent and total disability. The court rendered a unanimous affirmation of the denial on the basis that the injury did not arise out of the employment.

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