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Emmanuel Martinez Receives First Annual Inspiration Award from SCWCEA

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C., March 2, 2016 – The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Association (SCWCEA) is pleased to announce Emmanuel Martinez Antonio as the recipient of the First Annual Inspiration Award during its Annual Medical Seminar on Workers’ Compensation on Sunday, February 28, 2016.

“This award was created January, 2015 to recognize, celebrate and share in the success of an injured worker in South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation system” said Andrea C. Roche, Esq., SCWCEA President. “We also want to acknowledge the professional team that performed in the manner exemplifying the very best of the Workers’ Compensation system.”

Mr. Martinez was seriously injured in a workplace accident on March 6, 2000 when a crane hoisting a pipe he was installing at a Greenville, SC construction site contacted high-voltage power lines, resulting in severe electrical shock.

The injury required the amputation of his dominate right arm, his left index finger and his entire lower extremities from the navel down. He was placed in a drug induced coma for several months and has undergone numerous surgeries and procedures for electrical burns and additional complications.

As a part of his therapy, Mr. Martinez learned to paint. He has produced over 200 oil paintings allowing the proceeds to go to the Lydia Project, an Augusta, GA based charity that provides free services to women with cancer.

“Emmanuel is an inspiring young man,” said T. Scott Beck, chairman of the SC Workers’ Compensation Commission. “I have met hundreds of injured workers throughout my service with the Commission, but Emmanuel’s drive and determination are unsurpassed. After reading the nomination and meeting him, the committee unanimously agreed that Emmanuel represents the essence of this award. We also want to acknowledge the team of professionals who put in countless hours and expertise driving the many years of his recovery process. In Emmanuel’s case, the medical team performed at the highest professional level, despite significant doubt about their payment.”

“Being the first recipient of this award is an honor I will always cherish,” said Martinez. “I’d like to thank the South Carolina Workers’ Compensational Educational Association, the South Carolina Property & Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association, my case worker and ‘angel’ Cynthia Grimley of Cynthia P. Grimley & Associates, as well as my friends, family and God, without whose love and support none of this would be possible.”

Mr. Martinez was nominated for the award by the South Carolina Property & Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association (SCPCIGA), which has administered his Workers’ Compensation claim since 2002 when Legion Insurance Company, the original carrier of his Workers’ Compensation claim, went into liquidation.

Smitty Harrison, Executive Director of the South Carolina Property & Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association (SCPCIGA), says Martinez’s story is a reminder of the human benefits delivered by the guaranty fund system.

“When an insurance company goes insolvent, it is easy to focus on claim numbers, files, and types of injuries. Emmanuel’s story reminds us that this is a ‘people business.’ Claimants rely on us to receive their benefits.” says Harrison.

“It is rewarding to us to see our efforts pay off by improving the quality of life for an injured worker. This is especially true for a person such as Emmanuel, who has taught us that no problem or obstacle is too great.”

Mr. Martinez’s information will be displayed in the waiting room of the SC Workers’ Compensation Commission office in Columbia.

About the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Association
The SCWCEA is a non-profit organization of over 800 workers' compensation professionals from throughout the United States. It conducts educational programs and provides educational resources for its members and the general public pertaining to the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Act and its administration by the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission. These programs and resources keep our members up-to-date on the very latest on medical and legal issues related to workers' comp.

For almost 40 years, the South Carolina Insurance News Service has been providing free insurance information to consumers and the media about property and casualty insurance issues.

For more information, contact the South Carolina Insurance News Service at 803-252-3455 or use our contact form.