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Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch
Supreme Court
Case of the Month
January 2009

Case Overview

Marsha Tennant, Petitioner, v. Beaufort County School District, Employer,
and S.C. School Board Insurance Trust, Carrier, of whom Beaufort County
School District is Respondent.

Petitioner was a special education teacher.  She was diagnosed with situational depression and panic disorder related to the workplace.  

Petitioner filed an action with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission alleging a work related injury resulting from the conduct of co-workers.  The single commissioner found the greater weight of the evidence did not show petitioner suffered a compensable work related injury.  Specifically, the single commissioner found petitioner failed to prove the conditions of her employment that led to the incident were either unusual or extraordinary.

An appellate panel of the Workers’ Compensation Commission affirmed the single commissioner’s finding that petitioner did not sustain a compensable work related injury.  The circuit court affirmed the decision.

The Court of Appeals also affirmed, agreeing with the circuit court’s finding that substantial evidence was present in the record to support the appellate panel’s decision that petitioner did not suffer a compensable injury.  

Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the South Carolina Supreme Court, seeking review of the Court of Appeals’ decision .  She argued the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the commission’s decision because the commission’s findings of fact were not supported by substantial evidence.  Specifically, petitioner argued the commission erred in disregarding certain testimony, in considering the fact that petitioner had taught special education students for thirty years, and in giving too much weight to the testimony of an evaluating physician.  Petitioner argued there was substantial evidence to support a finding that her injury was caused by unusual and extraordinary circumstances related to the conduct of co-workers.

The Supreme Court granted the petition for a writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals’ decision.  The matter was argued at 10:30 on Wednesday, January 7, 2009.

Case Briefs

Petitioner's Final Brief

Petitioner's Final Reply Brief


Respondent's Final Brief

Oral Arguments

View Oral Arguments
(48 minutes playing time)