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Workers' Compensation

South Carolina Worders’ Compensation: Supreme Court Rules With Tomato Farm Worker

Charleston workers compensation lawyers want to report that the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in favor of a migrant worker injured on the job at a tomato farm. Frantz Pierre is a foreign worker legally in the United States employed by Seaside Farms, Inc. Seaside Farms owns a 400-acre tomato farm in Beaufort County and provides immigrant workers’ a camp to reside in on-site while working in the country.

Pierre, making barely over minimum wage, lived at the workers’ camp provided by the company. While at the camp Pierre slipped on a wet sidewalk and severely injured his ankle in South Carolina. Pierre then preceded to file claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Board. Seaside farms and American Home Assurance, the company’s and employees’ insurance company, both disputed Pierre’s claim arguing that he was not required to live in the workers’ camp; therefore, they are not responsible for his fall.

Pierre’s case was brought before the South Carolina Supreme Court, which scolded Seaside Farms and American Home Assurance. “It is clear from the record that Pierre was required, not by contract, but by the nature of his employment, to live on-site near the packing facility as there was no reasonable alternative…,” the Supreme Court expressed defending the migrant worker. The court found Seaside Farms liable for Pierre’s injury due to an insufficient water draining system.

Source: The State- “SC Supreme Court sides with injured migrant worker against tomato farm.” February 16, 2010.

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