Barbara has been representing employers and insurance carriers in workers' compensation claims since 1989. She has tried more than 250 cases before the North Carolina Industrial Commission involving simple injuries to complex medical conditions and complicated legal issues. She has also defended numerous cases at the Full Commission, the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court. While many cases settle during the pre-hearing or mediation process, it is sometimes necessary to litigate issues before the Industrial Commission if that is in the best interest of the client. Barbara also provides training to employer groups on investigating and handling workers’ compensation claims.
Honors & Recognitions
- Best Attorneys in North Carolina (2012, 2014-2017)
- Best Lawyers in America® (2012-2022)
- Greensboro Region Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers “Lawyer of the Year” (2018, 2021)
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
Professional & Civic Associations
- North Carolina Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Section, Council Member (2005-present)
- Chair (2009-2010)
- Vice Chair (2008-2009)
- Secretary (2007-2008)
- Treasurer (2006-2007)
- Forsyth County Bar Association
- New Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, Certified Lay Speaker (2006-present)
Barbara and her husband, Howard, enjoy traveling, camping and boating but mostly they enjoy spending time with their two granddaughters. They are active members of their church where Barbara serves as a lay speaker and Chairperson of the Staff-Parish Relation Committee.
- Whicker v. Compass Group and Novant Health (NC App, 2016; petition for discretionary reviewed denied by the NC Supreme Court) – Plaintiff worked for a cleaning company that provided cleaning services to a hospital. Defendant hospital successfully refuted Employee’s claim of a joint employment relationship.
- Toney v. Colonial Properties (NC App, 2013) – Successfully defended Employee’s allegation of permanent total disability due to a work related incident by establishing the Employee had significant pre-injury back condition and that Employee had misrepresented the nature and extent of his pre-injury condition to his treating physicians. The Court concluded that plaintiff’s work incident had not worsened the Employee’s pre-injury condition.
- Grayson v. Novant Health (NC App, 2012) – Successfully defended Employee’s claim that he was a statutory Employee of Defendant hospital. Employee worked for a non-insured company who provided perfusion services for the hospital.
- Edgerton v. Wythe Advantage (NC App, 2010) – Successfully refuted the self-employed Employee’s claim that her average weekly wage was approximately $1,250.00 by establishing it was $769.40.
- Hunter v. Citibank Cards (NC App 2010) – Successfully stopped Employee’s ongoing pain management and orthopedic treatment by establishing that she was not credible and that her ongoing complaints were not related to her work injury.
- Johnson v. Thomasville Furniture (NC App, 2009) – Plaintiff’s representative brought a death claim contending that his death was due to chemical exposure while working for the Employer. Through use of a number of retained experts, the claim was successfully defended resulting in a full denial.
- Thornburg v. Rainbow Transport (NC App, 2006) – Successfully defended Employee’s claim for a work related heat stroke while working for the Employer. The defense was based on the theory that plaintiff’s incident was not due to an unusual circumstances as required by the NC Workers’ Compensation Act.
- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Wake Forest University School of Law
- J.D., magna cum laude, 1987
- Notes and Comments Editor, Wake Forest Law Review
Wake Forest University
- B.A., cum laude, 1984
Bar & Court Admissions
- North Carolina, 1987