The South Dakota Supreme Court recently decided Fern Johnson v. United Parcel Service and Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance, 2020 S.D. 39, holding that SDCL 62-7-33 is the exclusive means by which a final decision from the Department of Labor (the “Department”) may be modified. Previously, SDCL 62-7-1 and SDCL 62-1-1(7) were routinely used to

As the world is being overwhelmed with questions surrounding the pandemic of COVID-19, the potential implications across several areas of law have resulted in many calls to our office with one common question: If someone believes they contracted COVID-19 at work, is that a compensable workers’ compensation claim?

Under South Dakota law, an “injury” is

On January 15, 2020, the South Dakota Supreme Court issued an opinion in Armstrong v. Longview Farms, LLP, 2020 S.D. 1, that differentiates between the effects of an acute injury and the effects of a non-work-related degenerative condition in assessing causation. This is a significant decision that signals a more nuanced approach to

The South Dakota Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of an insurance company, marking an important and significant clarification in bad faith litigation in workers’ compensation cases.  A recent decision by the South Dakota Supreme Court in Blanchard v. Mid-Century Ins. Co., 2019 S.D. 54, refused to extend the scope of bad faith liability

According to the Federal District Court in South Dakota, it is only after a workers’ compensation claimant has exhausted her remedies under the South Dakota Workers’ Compensation statutes that a trial court may hear a bad faith claim for denial of workers’ compensation benefits. But what does it mean to exhaust your administrative workers’ compensation

On January 16, 2019, the Supreme Court of South Dakota published its opinion in Skjonsberg v. Menard, Inc., 2019 S.D. 6. This decision, which provides favorable language for Employers and Insurers, has potential ramifications on the bad faith environment in South Dakota.

In Skjonsberg, Cassandra Skjonsberg (“Claimant”) injured her right foot while working

South Dakota is a rural, expansive state with many smaller towns throughout. There are very few major health care providers within the state. There are also very few doctors that will perform independent medical examinations within the state. On occasion, we are forced to ask a claimant to travel outside his community to have the

Doctors, lawyers and judges often ignore South Dakota’s adoption of an evidence-based medicine standard in workers’ compensation claims. SDCL 62-1-15 was enacted in 1995 and simply provides:

“In any proceeding or hearing pursuant to this title, evidence concerning any injury shall be given greater weight if supported by objective medical findings.”

Despite its clear and

In a recent 8th Circuit case published on March 1, 2017, LaKeysia Wilson v. Arkansas Dept. of Human Services (DHS), Wilson, an African American woman, sued DHS alleging disparate treatment on account of race as well as a retaliation claim.

Another DHS employee, an African American woman, Sharon Meeks was fired in 2013 and