Archive for April, 2011

Trial Notebook : Appeals – Court’s Interpretation of Statute

Friday, April 29th, 2011

The Court’s duty is to find meaning in all portions of the statutory provision in a manner which avoids, if practical, any conclusion that the provisions are inconsistent or contradictory.  See Houston v. Lows of Savannah, Inc., 235 Ga. 201, 219 S.E.2d 115 (1975); Boyles v. Steine, 224 Ga. 392, 162 S.E.2d 324 (1968); Polleson Lumber Company v. Kirk, 200 Ga. App. 689, 409 S.E.2d 260 (1991); Undercofler v. Colonial Pipeline Company, 114 Ga. App. 739, 152 S.E.2d 768 (1966); Undercofler v. Capital Auto Company, 111 Ga. App. 709, 143 S.E.2d 206 (1965).

On appeal of an award, or denial of workers’ compensation benefits, the Superior Court may not substitute its findings for the appellate division’s findings of fact, and when sitting as an appellate body, it is bound by the “any evidence” standard of review and is not authorized to substitute its judgment as to weight of the evidence or the credibility of the witnesses.  Owens-Brockway Packaging v. Hathorn, 227 Ga. App. 110, 488 S.E.2d 495 (1997).

“Further, in reviewing a workers’ compensation award, we must construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the prevailing party.”  Hallsey v. Fort Howard Paper Co., 268 Ga. 57, 484 S.E.2d 653 (1997).

“In reviewing a workers’ compensation award, both this Court and the Superior Court must construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the party prevailing for the appellate division.  It is axiomatic that the findings of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, when supported by any evidence, are conclusive and binding, and that neither the Superior Court nor this Court has any authority to substitute itself as a fact-finding body in lieu of the Board.” Logan v. St. Joseph Hospital, 227 Ga. App. 853, 490 S.E.2d 483 (1997).