Appeal by Plaintiff from opinion and award entered 2 June 2006
by the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Heard in the Court of
Appeals 22 February 2007.
Kathleen G. Sumner for Plaintiff-Appellant.
Morris York Williams Surles & Barringer, LLP, by Stephen
Kushner, for Defendants-Appellees.
Mary Frances Powe (Plaintiff) sustained a compensable injury
to her lower back and left hip on or about 21 May 2001 while
working for Centerpoint Human Services (Centerpoint). Brentwood
Services was Centerpoint's workers' compensation insurance carrier
at the time of Plaintiff's injury. Centerpoint and Brentwood
Services (Defendants) started paying temporary total disability
benefits to Plaintiff on 20 June 2001.
Plaintiff began receiving medical treatment from Dr. Richard
M. O'Keefe, Jr. (Dr. O'Keefe) on 13 June 2001. However, for thereasons set forth in the analysis portion of this opinion, we need
not recount Dr. O'Keefe's testimony.
Plaintiff received an independent medical evaluation from Dr.
O. Del Curling, Jr. (Dr. Curling), and Dr. Curling prepared a
report on 17 September 2002. Following review of an MRI scan
administered to Plaintiff, Dr. Curling filed an addendum to his
report on 22 October 2002. Dr. Curling stated that he did not see
any apparent explanation for Plaintiff's radicular pain complaints
and recommended a functional restoration program. Dr. Curling
stated that if Plaintiff did not elect to proceed with such a
program, he would consider Plaintiff to be at Maximum Medical
Improvement (MMI) with a three percent permanent partial impairment
of the back. Dr. Curling further stated he considered Plaintiff to
be capable of modified work activities.
Trudy Castlebury (Ms. Castlebury) testified in a deposition
that she worked for Brentwood Services and had a master's degree in
rehabilitation counseling. Ms. Castlebury also testified she was
a certified rehabilitation counselor and a certified disability
management specialist. A Form 25N was filed on 3 April 2003,
assigning Ms. Castlebury as Plaintiff's rehabilitation professional
"[t]o coordinate and monitor the appropriate and necessary
rehabilitation services to ensure [Plaintiff's] successful return
to work." Ms. Castlebury testified she began providing traditional
vocational rehabilitation services to Plaintiff on 5 August 2003.
However, she also testified that she had earlier provided
transitional medical case management services to Plaintiffbeginning on 18 September 2001. Ms. Castlebury's first vocational
rehabilitation meeting with Plaintiff occurred at the Employment
Ms. Castlebury testified that she tried to provide vocational
rehabilitation services to Plaintiff from August 2003 through
December 2003. However, Plaintiff never provided a copy of her
resume to Ms. Castlebury and never told Ms. Castlebury where she
had gone to school or what degrees she had obtained. Ms.
Castlebury testified that Plaintiff did not provide all the answers
to the initial vocational assessment and Ms. Castlebury was unable
to devise an individual vocational plan for Plaintiff.
Special Deputy Commissioner Chrystina F. Kesler approved a
Form 24 on 15 October 2003 and suspended Plaintiff's benefits
effective 22 August 2003. Ms. Castlebury was injured in a motor
vehicle accident in January 2004 and Plaintiff's case was
transferred to Mary O'Neill (Ms. O'Neill) on 18 February 2004. Ms.
O'Neill testified she was a vocational case manager with Southern
Rehabilitation Network, and that she had a master's degree in
rehabilitation counseling and was a certified rehabilitation
counselor. Ms. O'Neill first met with Plaintiff on 18 March 2004,
and Plaintiff presented her resume to Ms. O'Neill on 22 April 2004.
Ms. O'Neill testified that Plaintiff had included a list of her
disabilities on the resume and Ms. O'Neill had advised Plaintiff to
remove the listed disabilities. However, Plaintiff thought Ms.
O'Neill was instructing Plaintiff to lie on her resume. Ms.
O'Neill told Plaintiff she would not be lying because she did nothave to present her disabilities to potential employers. Plaintiff
provided Ms. O'Neill with an updated resume on 29 April 2004. This
resume excluded information about Plaintiff's disabilities.
Deputy Commissioner Chrystal Redding Stanback (the Deputy
Commissioner) conducted a hearing on the matter on 21 June 2004 and
subsequently received the depositions of Dr. O'Keefe and Ms.
Castlebury. The Deputy Commissioner filed an opinion and award on
10 January 2005, in which she made numerous findings of fact,
including a finding that
[p]rior to April 29, 2004, . . . Plaintiff was
non-compliant with vocational rehabilitation
efforts, and her workers' compensation
benefits were rightfully suspended. As of
April 29, 2004, Plaintiff has been compliant
with vocational rehabilitation and is entitled
to reinstatement of her temporary total
disability compensation and medical treatment,
for so long as she remains cooperative and
compliant with vocational rehabilitation
efforts and for so long as her authorized
treating physician approves the same.
The Deputy Commissioner concluded that Plaintiff had "failed to
cooperate with medical and vocational rehabilitation services
offered by Defendants, despite an Order of the Industrial
Commission. Her noncompliance is unjustified. Plaintiff ceased
her refusal to cooperate as of April 29, 2004." The Deputy
Commissioner therefore affirmed the Special Deputy Commissioner's
approval of Defendants' Form 24. However, the Deputy Commissioner
ordered Plaintiff's temporary total disability compensation to be
reinstated as of 29 April 2004.
Defendants wrote a letter to the Deputy Commissioner dated 19
January 2005 and specifically requested that the DeputyCommissioner "treat this letter as Defendants' Motion for
Reconsideration and to admit additional evidence." Defendants
requested that the Deputy Commissioner admit into evidence a 25
October 2004 letter from Plaintiff's former counsel to Southern
Rehabilitation Network, Inc., stating that Plaintiff would no
longer participate in vocational rehabilitation. However, the
Deputy Commissioner denied the motion, and Defendants filed a Form
44, alleging error as follows:
The Deputy Commissioner erred in failing to
reopen the record and receive additional
evidence, not available to the parties at the
time of hearing, indicating that Plaintiff has
again ceased compliance with vocational
rehabilitation, and as such should be subject
to an ongoing suspension of her temporary
total disability benefits.
Plaintiff also appealed from the Deputy Commissioner's opinion
and award. The Industrial Commission (the Commission) filed an
opinion and award on 2 June 2006, affirming, with modifications,
the Deputy Commissioner's opinion and award. The Commission
allowed Defendants' motion to consider the 25 October 2004
correspondence of Plaintiff's former counsel. Based upon its
findings of fact and conclusions of law, the Commission determined
[t]he Special Deputy Commissioner's approval
of Defendants' Form 24 Application is
AFFIRMED. Defendants' Form 24 is APPROVED,
and Defendants are entitled to suspend
[Plaintiff's] temporary total disability
benefits effective August 22, 2003 through
April 28, 2004, and from October 25, 2004 and
continuing until [P]laintiff shows that she is
compliant with vocational rehabilitation.
Plaintiff appeals. Our review of an opinion and award by the Commission is
limited to two inquiries: (1) whether there is any competent
evidence in the record to support the Commission's findings of
fact; and (2) whether the Commission's conclusions of law are
justified by the findings of fact. Counts v. Black & Decker Corp.,
121 N.C. App. 387, 389, 465 S.E.2d 343, 345, disc. review denied,
343 N.C. 305, 471 S.E.2d 68 (1996). If supported by competent
evidence, the Commission's findings are conclusive, even if the
evidence might also support contrary findings. Jones v. Candler
Mobile Village, 118 N.C. App. 719, 721, 457 S.E.2d 315, 317 (1995).
We review the Commission's conclusions of law de novo. Johnson v.
Herbie's Place, 157 N.C. App. 168, 171, 579 S.E.2d 110, 113, disc.
review denied, 357 N.C. 460, 585 S.E.2d 760 (2003).
Plaintiff argues the assignment of Ms. Castlebury as a
vocation rehabilitation professional was void ab initio
therefore the opinion and award suspending Plaintiff's temporary
total disability benefits was also void ab initio
argues the assignment of Ms. Castlebury was void ab initio
(1) [Ms. Castlebury] [was] not registered with
the Workers' Compensation Registry of
Rehabilitation Professionals; (2)
. . . Defendants fail[ed] to file or prepare
the Form 25N until April 3, 2003, but [Ms.
Castlebury] [had] actively participated in
medical case management and vocational
rehabilitation since September 18, 2001; (3)
. . . [Ms. Castlebury] [was] not qualified for
medical case management; [and] (4) . . . [Ms.
Castlebury] communicate[d] ex parte
medical providers with no Form 25C executed by[Plaintiff].
Plaintiff further argues Ms. Castlebury violated several other
rules of the North Carolina Industrial Commission Rules for
Utilization of Rehabilitation Professionals (the Rehabilitation
Rules) by (1) "not furnishing simultaneous communications with all
parties[,]" (2) "fail[ing] to prepare an Individualized Vocational
Rehabilitation plan[,]" (3) failing to give Plaintiff a copy of the
Rehabilitation Rules, and (4) failing to disclose a conflict of
Plaintiff's arguments lack merit. As authority, Plaintiff
cites the Rehabilitation Rules. However, the Rehabilitation Rules
do not contain a provision voiding vocational rehabilitation in the
event of noncompliance with the Rehabilitation Rules. Rather, the
Rehabilitation Rules provide a procedure whereby a party can move
for the removal of a rehabilitation professional. Section IX of
the Rehabilitation Rules provides:
An RP may be removed from a case upon motion
by either party for good cause shown or by the
Industrial Commission in its own discretion.
The motion shall be filed with the Executive
Secretary's Office and served upon all parties
and the RP. Any party or the RP may file a
response to the motion within 10 days. The
Industrial Commission shall then determine
whether to remove the RP from the case.
Moreover, Plaintiff fails to cite any case law mandating that
vocational rehabilitation be declared void in the event of
noncompliance with the Rehabilitation Rules. Plaintiff does cite,
without discussion, Deskins v. Ithaca Industries, Inc.
, 131 N.C.
App. 826, 509 S.E.2d 232 (1998). However, Deskins
is inapplicable. In Deskins
, the plaintiff's counsel sent a letter to the
plaintiff's vocational rehabilitation case manager instructing the
case manager not to contact the plaintiff directly. Id.
509 S.E.2d at 234. The Commission relied on the letter to conclude
that suspension of the plaintiff's benefits was appropriate under
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-25. Id.
at 832, 509 S.E.2d at 235. Our Court
cited a provision of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-25, which is identical to
the current version of the statute, and provides:
"The refusal of the employee to accept any
medical, hospital, surgical or other treatment
or rehabilitative procedure when ordered by
the Industrial Commission shall bar said
employee from further compensation until such
refusal ceases, and no compensation shall at
any time be paid for the period of suspension
unless in the opinion of the Industrial
Commission the circumstances justified the
refusal, in which case, the Industrial
Commission may order a change in the medical
or hospital service."
at 832, 509 S.E.2d at 235-36 (quoting N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-25
(Cum. Supp. 1997) (emphasis omitted)). Our Court reversed the
Commission and held that there was "absolutely no evidence in the
record that [the] plaintiff refused any rehabilitative procedure
ordered by the Commission. Thus, the Commission erred in
concluding that the letter . . . warranted suspension of [the]
plaintiff's benefits[.]" Id.
at 832, 509 S.E.2d at 236.
In the present case, Plaintiff argues that her withdrawal from
participation in vocational rehabilitation cannot serve as grounds
for suspending her benefits under N.C.G.S. § 97-25 because Ms.
Castlebury violated the Rehabilitation Rules. This was not the
issue in Deskins
and, therefore, Deskins
provides no support forthis argument.
Plaintiff also argues that the assignment of Ms. Castlebury to
Plaintiff's case amounted to the creation of an illegal and,
therefore, unenforceable contract. See Marshall v. Dicks
, 175 N.C.
38, 39, 94 S.E. 514, 514 (1917) (recognizing that "when the parties
are in pari delicto
, [the courts] will not enforce the obligations
of an executory contract which is illegal or contrary to public
policy or against good morals."). However, this analogy is not
persuasive. Again, the Rehabilitation Rules do not contain a
provision voiding vocational rehabilitation for violations of the
Rehabilitation Rules. Rather, they provide a procedure whereby a
party can seek the removal of a vocational rehabilitation
As part of Plaintiff's argument that vocational rehabilitation
was void ab initio
, Plaintiff relies upon Salaam v. N.C. Dept. of
, 122 N.C. App. 83, 468 S.E.2d 536 (1996), disc.
review improvidently allowed
, 345 N.C. 494, 480 S.E.2d 51 (1997),
and its progeny, in which our Court held that a doctor's deposition
testimony must be excluded where defense counsel engaged in ex
communication with the doctor prior to the deposition. Id.
at 88, 468 S.E.2d at 539. However, even without Dr. O'Keefe's
testimony, which Plaintiff argues was tainted, the Commission's
opinion and award was supported. Therefore, this argument lacks
In connection with this argument, Plaintiff also challenges
the evidentiary support for finding of fact 19, where theCommission found that "Plaintiff began vocational rehabilitation
with Ms. Castlebury on August 5, 2003 at the Employment Security
Commission." However, this finding was supported by Ms.
Castlebury's testimony that she began providing traditional
vocational rehabilitation services to Plaintiff on 5 August 2003.
Ms. Castlebury further testified that her first vocational
rehabilitation meeting with Plaintiff occurred at the Employment
Security Commission. For the reasons stated above, we overrule the
assignments of error grouped under this argument.
Plaintiff argues that because no Form 25N was filed assigning
Ms. O'Neill as a vocational rehabilitation professional, "Ms.
O'Neill was never on the file and thus there is no basis for an
Order mandating that [Plaintiff] comply with vocational
rehabilitation with Ms. O'Neill." However, as we have already
held, the failure to follow the Rehabilitation Rules does not void
vocational rehabilitation. Therefore, we overrule these
assignments of error.
Plaintiff next argues that Dr. O'Keefe's testimony was tainted
by his ex parte
communication with Ms. Castlebury, and that Dr.
O'Keefe's testimony should have been excluded. Therefore,
Plaintiff argues, there was no competent medical testimony that
Plaintiff was at MMI or was eligible to participate in vocational
Plaintiff argues that findings of fact 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12were based upon incompetent testimony that must be excluded
pursuant to Salaam
. It is correct that these findings of fact were
based upon the testimony of Dr. O'Keefe. Plaintiff also argues
that findings of fact 16 and 17 were not supported by the evidence.
Findings 16 and 17 provide:
16. Plaintiff asserts that the opinions of
Dr. O'Keefe are tainted due to ex parte
communication. In her brief, [P]laintiff
identifies several dates on which she alleges
communication occurred. However,
[P]laintiff has not offered specific
references to occurrences on those dates which
would allow the . . . Commission to make a
finding, with respect to each date, that ex
Assuming arguendo that ex parte
communication occurred between Ms. Castlebury
and Dr. O'Keefe, there is no evidence to show
that possible ex parte
prior to December 3, 2002. On this date, Ms.
Castlebury met with Dr. O'Keefe regarding
[P]laintiff's condition. Ms. Castlebury
testified that [P]laintiff was scheduled to
have an appointment on this day, but did not
attend. Plaintiff indicates that she was
never informed of this appointment. As it
appears that ex parte
communication may have
occurred on that date, out of an abundance of
caution, the undersigned hereby
prophylactically exclude opinions of Dr.
O'Keefe after December 3, 2002.
However, we need not determine whether findings 8, 9, 10, 11, 12,
16, and 17 were supported by evidence because even without any of
Dr. O'Keefe's testimony, there were sufficient findings of fact to
support the Commission's suspension of Plaintiff's benefits.
Plaintiff challenges finding of fact 18, in which the
Commission found that "[n]otwithstanding the exclusion of Dr.
O'Keefe's opinions after December 3, 2002, [P]laintiff was stillcapable of participating in vocational rehabilitation pursuant to
the opinions of Dr. Curling." Plaintiff argues that "Dr. Curling's
medical opinions of September 17, 2002, were in part based upon the
tainted medical opinions of Dr. [O'Keefe]." Plaintiff further
argues Dr. Curling's opinions were tainted because "Ms. Castlebury
was also present at the evaluation and she was not a nurse, nor was
she assigned to the case pursuant to a valid Form 25N, nor was she
registered with the Industrial Commission Registry."
However, despite Plaintiff's argument as to finding 18,
Plaintiff does not challenge findings 13, 14, and 15. These
13. Plaintiff presented to Dr. Curling, her
choice for an independent medical examination,
on September 17, 2002. Dr. Curling indicated
at that time that he was unable to make a
determination regarding maximum medical
improvement, but further indicated that
following a review of the MRI scan, he would
be able to make an addendum to the report.
14. On October 22, 2002, Dr. Curling made an
addendum to his September 17, 2002 report
after reviewing a lumbar MRI. Dr. Curling
indicated that there was no apparent
explanation for [P]laintiff's radicular
complaints. Dr. Curling recommended
consideration of a functional restoration
program, and noted that he did not feel that a
pain clinic referral would be appropriate, and
would recommend avoidance of narcotic or other
addictive medications. Dr. Curling opined
that if [P]laintiff elected not to proceed
with the functional restoration program, he
had no further recommendations. Plaintiff had
already been prescribed a functional
restoration program, which she declined.
Dr. Curling indicated that in the absence
of the functional restoration program, he
would assign [P]laintiff a 3% disability
rating to her back, and would consider hercapable of modified work activities. In
particular, Dr. Curling would limit
[P]laintiff's activities to 15 pound maximum
occasional lifting, no prolonged station,
frequent changes in position as needed, and no
repetitive bending or twisting.
These unchallenged findings demonstrate that Dr. Curling conducted
an independent medical examination of Plaintiff and reviewed
Plaintiff's MRI scan. Dr. Curling's recommendations were based on
his own findings and not on Dr. O'Keefe's opinions. Moreover,
Plaintiff has cited no authority in support of her contention that
Ms. Castlebury's presence at the independent medical evaluation
somehow tainted Dr. Curling's opinions. Plaintiff has also not
cited any evidence that Ms. Castlebury was present when Dr. Curling
reviewed the MRI and made the 22 October 2002 addendum. Finding 18
was supported by competent evidence. Furthermore, we hold that
findings 13, 14, 15, and 18 supported the Commission's conclusions
of law and award.
Plaintiff argues that "Defendants did not file a Motion for
Additional Evidence as required by the Act and the Rules in order
to tender additional evidence at the hearing before the . . .
Commission." Specifically, Plaintiff argues Defendants failed to
file a motion to allow the introduction of the 25 October 2004
letter sent by Plaintiff's former counsel to Southern
Rehabilitation Network, Inc., which stated that Plaintiff would no
longer participate in vocational rehabilitation.
However, despite Plaintiff's contention to the contrary,
Defendants did write a letter to the Deputy Commissioner andspecifically requested that the Deputy Commissioner "treat this
letter as Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration and to admit
additional evidence." Defendants requested that the Deputy
Commissioner admit into evidence the letter from Plaintiff's
counsel stating that Plaintiff would no longer participate in
vocational rehabilitation. However, the Deputy Commissioner denied
the motion, and Defendants filed a Form 44, alleging this was
error. In its opinion and award, the Commission allowed
Defendants' motion to consider the correspondence of Plaintiff's
Plaintiff cites Allen v. K-Mart
, 137 N.C. App. 298, 528 S.E.2d
60 (2000), for the proposition that "[w]here the Commission allows
a party to introduce new evidence which becomes the basis for its
opinion and award, it must allow the other party the opportunity to
rebut or discredit that evidence." Id.
at 304, 528 S.E.2d at 64-
65. However, in the present case, Plaintiff does not argue that
she was unable to contest the admission of the letter written by
her former counsel. Rather, Plaintiff simply argues that
Defendants did not file a motion for additional evidence. As we
have already determined, Defendants did file such a motion.
Plaintiff also cites Johnson v. R.R.
, 163 N.C. 431, 79 S.E.
690 (1913), for the showing required on a motion for a new trial.
However, as the present case deals with a motion for additional
evidence in a workers' compensation case, Johnson
We overrule this assignment of error.
Plaintiff next challenges finding of fact 7, which provides:
In 2001, [P]laintiff saw Dr. [Spillmann], but
there was an incident at his office where
[P]laintiff reportedly fell and later
presented to the emergency room complaining of
such a fall. Dr. [Spillmann] emphatically
denies that [P]laintiff fell while in his
office. According to [P]laintiff, Dr.
[Spillmann] "punched or pushed her
required her to do a pull-up on the floor. He
allegedly yelled at her when she could not do
the pull-up and kept yelling that she had not
fallen. Plaintiff's testimony in this regard
is not corroborated by any other testimony or
written documentation, and is not deemed
credible by the undersigned.
Plaintiff's sole argument with respect to this finding is that the
Commission erred by deeming Plaintiff's testimony not credible.
However, our Supreme Court has recognized:
This Court in Adams
made readily apparent two
points: (1) the full Commission is the sole
judge of the weight and credibility of the
evidence, and (2) appellate courts reviewing
Commission decisions are limited to reviewing
whether any competent evidence supports the
Commission's findings of fact and whether the
findings of fact support the Commission's
conclusions of law.
Deese v. Champion Int'l Corp.
, 352 N.C. 109, 116, 530 S.E.2d 549,
553 (2000). Because the Commission is the sole judge of the
credibility of witnesses, we do not review the Commission's
credibility determinations. Dr. Scott J. Spillmann (Dr. Spillmann)
prepared a report on 12 December 2001 stating that: "[Plaintiff]
. . . stated that she fell and insisted that she fell in the
clinic. I corrected her about this[,] [and] stat[ed] that she did
not fall." We hold that the challenged finding of fact was
supported by competent evidence, and we overrule this assignment oferror.
Plaintiff next assigns error to the Commission's failure to
find and conclude that Defendants placed Plaintiff in vocational
rehabilitation for the sole purpose of pressuring her into a
settlement. As support for her claim that she was pressured into
a settlement, Plaintiff cites a letter sent by Sandra Hartis (Ms.
Hartis), a senior claims representative with Brentwood Services,
As you are aware, you have an appointment with
[Ms.] Castlebury on 3/6/03 at 11:30 a.m. for
your initial interview to start vocational
[rehabilitation]. It's important that you
attend every meeting and comply with [Ms.
Castlebury's] request. If you are not
interested in job search, I would like to hear
from you no later than 3/10/03 to discuss
settlement of your claim.
Plaintiff also notes that Ms. Hartis and Ms. Castlebury were both
employed by Brentwood Services. However, this evidence does not
show that Defendants placed Plaintiff in vocational rehabilitation
to pressure her into a settlement. Rather, the findings, based
upon the evidence provided by Dr. Curling, established that
Plaintiff was capable of returning to work. Therefore, vocational
rehabilitation was appropriate. We overrule this assignment of
Plaintiff argues that findings of fact 20 and 21 were not
supported by the evidence. Findings of fact 20 and 21 provide:
20. Plaintiff denied receiving a letter from
Ms. Castlebury dated July 17, 2003. She alsodenied receiving letters on February 12, 2003,
February 27, 2003 and March 4, 2003.
Plaintiff stated that the address listed on
such correspondence was correct, but the
letters were not received.
21. Plaintiff testified that she does not
have an understanding of the vocational
rehabilitation process, even though she has
postgraduate training in vocational
rehabilitation. Plaintiff allegedly asked Ms.
Castlebury if she could begin her job search
at the ESC on the first day that the two
ladies met, but she stated that Ms. Castlebury
discouraged her from beginning the job search
at that time. Plaintiff claims that she was
unaware of Ms. Castlebury's vocational
rehabilitation plans throughout their
Plaintiff argues that finding 20 was not based on any credible
evidence because "[D]efendants failed to produce any return receipt
cards from the post office which would indicate that such letters
allegedly sent certified to [Plaintiff] were in fact received by
[Plaintiff]." However, this finding was supported because although
Plaintiff denied receiving the letters, she admitted they were
correctly addressed to her. See Wilson v. Claude J. Welch
, 115 N.C. App. 384, 386, 444 S.E.2d 628, 629 (1994)
(recognizing that "[e]vidence of the deposit in the mails of a
letter, properly stamped and addressed, establishes prima facie
that it was received in the regular course of the mail by the
Plaintiff argues finding 21 was "not based on any credible
evidence in that [Plaintiff's] testimony was that she had some
training in vocational rehabilitation with the North Carolina
Department of Human Resources, which is not the same as post-graduate training in vocational rehabilitation." (Brief at 34-35).
This finding was also supported because Plaintiff testified as
follows: "I have postgraduate training in social work, vocational
[rehabilitation] through the North Carolina Department of Human
Resources." The Commission found that Plaintiff "[had]
postgraduate training in vocational rehabilitation." The
challenged portion of this finding was supported by competent
Plaintiff failed to set forth argument pertaining to her
remaining assignments of error and, therefore, we deem them
N.C.R. App. P. 28(b)(6).
Judges CALABRIA and STEPHENS concur.
Report per Rule 30(e).
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