Nay v. Cornerstone Staffing Solutions, et al.

Michael Bertics

Lennon, Camak, & Bertics PLLC

Mr. Bertics is a Board Certified Workers’ Compensation specialist. He has practiced exclusively in the areas of Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Law for his entire career. He is passionate about leveling the playing field between victims and insurance companies, and works tirelessly to ensure his clients receive fair treatment from employers.

Mr. Bertics is a recognized expert in workers’ compensation law. He is the past Chair of the N.C. Bar Workers’ Compensation Specialization Committee which is responsible for certifying attorneys in North Carolina as specialists in workers’ compensation law. He also chaired the Workers’ Compensation committee for three years and served on the committee for six. He is a frequent lecturer at workers compensation and Social Security legal education conferences and has given over 40 presentations on a wide range of subjects in workers’ compensation and Social Security law. He has substantial workers’ compensation litigation experience, trying workers’ compensation cases at all levels, from the initial hearing all the way through the North Carolina Supreme Court.  He is frequently associated as lead counsel in complex workers compensation claims by attorneys around the state.

Mr. Bertics is also a fierce advocate for the rights of the disabled with the Social Security Administration and in Federal Court. He helps disabled individuals through the frustrating process of seeking disability benefits from Social Security. He also frequently takes over cases that have been lost by other attorneys and helps disabled individuals appeal their wrongful denials to the Appeals Council and to Federal District Court.

Mr. Bertics is a native of Wake County. He lives in Raleigh, NC with his wife, Carrie, and four children. Mr. Bertics is a past-Chair of North Carolina Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service Committee tasked with helping members of the general public find attorneys who can help with all types of legal matters.

Stewart Poisson

Stewart Poisson is a partner with Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC where she practices law with her brother and father. She practices in the firm’s Wilmington and Wadesboro offices, representing plaintiffs in workers’ compensation and personal injury matters. Stewart has litigated numerous cases before juries and the Industrial Commission and also handles cases before the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Stewart received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina in 2001 and received her J.D. with honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2004. In law school, she was an editor on the North Carolina Law Review and received the William T. Joyner Award for Excellence in Journal Writing.

The North Carolina State Bar certified Stewart as a workers’ compensation specialist in 2009 and recertified her in 2014 and 2019. Stewart served as an advisory member of the North Carolina State Bar Ethics Committee from 2014 to 2020 and currently serves as a member of the State Bar’s Workers’ Compensation Specialization Subcommittee and Authorized Practice Committee.

Stewart presents each year on various topics in the field of workers’ compensation for North Carolina Advocates for Justice CLE programs, is a former Chair of NCAJ’s Workers’ Rights Section and is a former chair of NCAJ’s New Lawyer’s Division. She currently serves on NCAJ’s Executive Committee as the organization’s Diversity & Inclusion Officer; she formerly served on NCAJ’s Board of Governors from 2012 to 2017. She is active on NCAJ’s Legal Affairs Committee and has authored numerous amicus briefs for the organization.

Case Link View Now
Opinion Filed February 11, 2022
Attorney for the Case Kathleen Sumner
Amicus Brief Writers Michael Bertics Stewart Poisson
Court NC Supreme Court
Docket No. 409PA20

Nay v. Cornerstone concerns the proper method for calculating the average weekly wages of employees of temporary employment agencies. The Industrial Commission elected to divide the wages earned over roughly 13 weeks by 52 weeks resulting in a relatively minimal average weekly wage. The NCAJ offered amicus assistance at the Court of Appeals level.

The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Industrial Commission and calculated the plaintiff’s average weekly wage by dividing the wages earned by the weeks worked. Defendants filed a petition for discretionary review to the North Carolina Supreme Court which was granted. The NCAJ has also provided amicus assistance at the Supreme Court advocating for the injured workers’ wages to be divided by the actual weeks worked. Given the prevalence of temporary staffing agencies in our work force, the issues presented in this case are critical to preserving the workers compensation safety net for their employees.