Five Recent Cases You Should Know About (10/22/2010)

Five Recent Cases You Should Know About (10/22/2010)

Larson's Spotlight on Undocumented Worker, Consequential Injury, Injuries From False Arrest, Occupational Disease - Lyme Disease, Light Work Duty. 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.

KY: Federal Immigration Law Does Not Preempt Kentucky Workers' Comp Act; Undocumented Injured Worker May Recover Benefits

Citing decisions from other jurisdictions, the Court of Appeals of Kentucky has held there is no essential conflict between the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324a, et seq. and Kentucky workers' compensation law, which generally permits payments to aliens illegally employed within the state.  The Kentucky court observed that Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 342.640(1) defines an employee for purposes of workers' compensation benefits as "[e]very person ... whether lawfully or unlawfully employed, in the service of an employer."  While IRCA made it illegal to employ anyone in the country illegally and made it a crime to falsify documents for the purpose of obtaining employment, there was no statement within IRCA that state workers' compensation law had been preempted.

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 Ky. App. LEXIS 194. 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, § 66.03.

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ME: Injuries Sustained in Car Accident Traveling to Required Mediation Session Are Not Compensable

In a 4-2 decision, the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine recently held that a worker's injuries, sustained in an automobile accident that occurred as he traveled to a mandatory mediation meeting related to a prior workers' compensation injury is not compensable.  Drawing the distinction between injuries that "can properly be said to be a consequence of industrial activity" and those that "are a consequence of life in general," the court found that the worker's car accident injury was "too attenuated from his previous work injuries to be considered a compensable sequela of those injuries."  Two justices dissented, citing Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, Ch. 10, § 10.07, indicated that participation in the mediation process was a "reciprocal obligation of the employer and employee inherent in the contract of employment."

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 2010 Me. LEXIS 104. 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, § 10.07.

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NY: Convenience Store Clerk Awarded Permanent Total Disability Benefits Following False Arrest

A New York appellate court recently affirmed an award of permanent total disability benefits to a convenience store clerk who began experiencing panic attacks, had nightmares, and became unable to leave her home for fear of running into police officers after she had been falsely accused of stealing a flashlight that a police officer had left behind while investigating a break-in at the store where the clerk worked.  The court noted that an independent medical examiner hired by the employer and carrier concluded that the clerk suffered a total psychiatric disability.

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 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 7437. 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, § 56.06.

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NC: Claimant Awarded Occupational Disease Benefits for Lyme Disease

Affirming a decision by the state's Industrial Commission, a North Carolina appellate court recently held that a worker established a claim of occupational disease where he spent much of his working hours outdoors in areas infested with ticks and other insects and where the worker observed on numerous occasions that he had been bitten by ticks.  The court of appeals acknowledged that multiple tests of the worker's blood had been negative for Lyme disease, but that the treating physician was in the best position to make the diagnosis and had done so.

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 N.C. App. LEXIS 1962. 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, § 52.03.

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NY: Claimant's Testimony That He Could Perform Light Work and Nevertheless Retired From His Job Was Sufficient to Support Finding That He Abandoned the Work Force

A New York appellate court agreed with a finding of the Workers' Compensation Board that a claimant had voluntarily abandoned the work force by retiring and was, accordingly, disqualified from additional permanent injury benefits where testimony by the claimant indicated he had performed light duty work for the employer for 40 hours per week without a problem for eight months prior to his retirement, that he could have remained working in that capacity had the employer continued the position, and that he was able to exercise regularly, do some household chores and drive a car. Such testimony, coupled with medical testimony that he could perform sedentary work, was sufficient to support the Board's ruling.

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 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 7465. 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, § 84.04.

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

   Offer good through December 2010.