Five Recent Cases You Should Know About (9/10/2010)

Larson's Spotlight on Consequential Condition, Date of Injury, Prisoner Employee Status, Obesity, Stumble Found Compensable. Larson's surveys the latest case developments that you need to know about. Thomas A. Robinson, the staff writer for Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, has compiled the list below.

OR: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Was "Consequential" Condition Not Directly Caused By Hand Injury-Heightened Burden of Proof Required to Establish Claim

The Court of Appeals of Oregon recently affirmed a decision by the state Workers' Compensation Board that claimant's carpal tunnel syndrome claim was a consequential condition that resulted from claimant's work-related injury, requiring claimant to utilize a heightened, "major contributing cause" standard [see ORS 656.005(7)(a)(A)]; she could not establish her claim on a direct injury theory that would have allowed a "material contributing cause" standard.  Claimant had injured her hand when she accidentally struck a wall with a closed fist, which caused pain, swelling, and bleeding over the large knuckle of the third finger.  Several weeks later she was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, but the medical expert described it as "separate." The Board determined that the carpal tunnel syndrome was a consequential injury and substantial evidence supported that finding.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Ore. App. LEXIS 999. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, §§ 51.02, 51.03.

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OR: Under State's Anti-Discrimination Laws, Three-Year Limitation from "Date of Injury" Is Not Extended by Aggravation of Original Injury

For purposes of Oregon's "Unlawful Discrimination Against Injured Workers" statutes, ORS 659A.040 to 659A.052, which generally require an employer to reinstate or reemploy an injured worker who has recovered from a "compensable injury" if the worker applies within three years from the "date of injury," the Court of Appeals of Oregon recently held that a compensable aggravation of a prior compensable injury is not a new injury for purposes of starting a new three-year limitation period. 

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Ore. App. LEXIS 1006. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 131.03.

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PA: Prisoner Working in "Work Release Program" Was Employee, Not Casual Labor

In an unpublished decision, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania recently affirmed a decision by the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board that a prisoner at a county jail, who worked for a small construction company under a work-release program, was an employee and not casual labor for purposes of the Workers' Compensation Act.  The prisoner worked 12 hours per day for four to five weeks for the construction company; his work was not casual nor incidental.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Pa. Commw. Unpub. LEXIS 591. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 73.02.

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OH: Whether Knee Injury Was Caused by Claimant's "Pre-Existing" Obesity or Work-related Conditions is Question of Fact

Whether claimant's torn right medial meniscus was caused by claimant's size-he stood at least 6'8" and weighed at least 420 pounds-or by claimant's work conditions was an issue of fact to be determined by the jury, held an Ohio appellate court recently.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Ohio App. LEXIS 3555. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 130.05.

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MO: Nurse's "Stumble" Found Compensable Since Her Work Activities Required Her to Stand for Long Periods of Time

A Missouri appellate court has reversed a decision of the state's Labor and Industrial Relations Commission that had denied a worker's claim on the basis that her injuries did not arise out of and in the course of her employment since she was exposed to the risk of a "pedestrian stumble" in her normal non-employment life.  Observing that Mo. Rev. Stat. § 287.020.3 excludes from recovery injuries that come from hazards or risks to which workers would have been "equally exposed outside of and unrelated to the employment in normal nonemployment life," the court indicated that claimant's nonemployment life did not "equally" expose her to stumbling, that she was on her feet for 80 percent of a long work shift, whereas at home she stood no more than 50 percent of the time.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Mo. App. LEXIS 1163. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 43.01.

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Source: Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, the nation's leading authority on workers' compensation law

   Offer good through December 2010.