LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
New Jersey: Person in “Committed Relationship” With Deceased Worker Was Not His Surviving Spouse

In an unpublished decision, a New Jersey court held that notwithstanding the “committed relationship” that existed between the petitioner and the deceased employee, who sustained fatal injuries in a work-related accident, the petitioner could not receive benefits as the surviving spouse under...

Ohio: Survivors of Worker Who Lapsed Into Coma Shortly Before Death Entitled to Scheduled Benefits in Additional to Death Benefits

Continuing a line of controversial decisions in which the survivors of a deceased employee are allowed to recover not only statutory death benefits following the death of the employee from work-related injuries or occupational diseases, but also scheduled loss of use benefits because, just prior to his...

Mississippi: CPA Exec’s Heirs May Pursue Death Benefits in Spite of Exec’s Failure to Secure Coverage

In a split decision, the Court of Appeals of Mississippi held that the survivors of a business executive could pursue their claim for death benefits under the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act in spite of the fact that the deceased, the managing partner and president of a CPA firm, had considered...

Pennsylvania: Gun-Wielding Store Manager’s Death While Attempting to Stop Robber Found Compensable

A Pennsylvania appellate court, reversing a decision of the state’s Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, has determined that a convenience store manager did not abandon his employment and was furthering the business affairs of his employer when he was severely injured—the injuries eventually...

Pennsylvania: “Widow” Did Not Establish Common Law Marriage by Exchange of Vows in Wyoming: No Surviving Spouse Death Benefits Could Be Recovered

A Pennsylvania appellate court recently affirmed a decision by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board that had in turn had affirmed the denial of a petition seeking death benefits under § 307(3) of the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act. Claimant and the decedent were...

Pennsylvania: Court Agrees That Worker’s Death Was Suicide, Not Unexplained Accident

In an unpublished opinion, a Pennsylvania appellate court has affirmed a finding by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board that found a worker’s death did not arise out of and in the course of the employment where shortly before decedent’s body was found in a water tank...

Alaska: Death Benefits Must Be Made Available to the Deceased Employee's Same-Sex Partner in Spite of Alaska's Marriage Amendment

The Supreme Court of Alaska has ruled that the state’s workers’ compensation death benefits statute, Alaska Stat. § 23.30.215 is unconstitutional to the extent that it bars a deceased worker's same-sex partner from recovering survivors benefits while allowing such benefits to a deceased...

New Jersey: State High Court Says Telecommuter's Death Was Not Causally Related to Her Work

The Supreme Court of New Jersey reversed an award of workers' compensation death benefits to the surviving spouse of an employee who died as a result of an embolism she suffered after working through the night on a work-related project at her home. The deceased employee, who had a telecommuting agreement...

Customer, Not Applicant, Deemed Initial Physical Aggressor Despite Lack of Physical Contact: Cal. Comp. Cases September Advanced Postings (9/11/2014)

Here are the second and third batches of advanced postings for September 2014 issue of Cal. Comp. Cases. Lexis.com and Lexis Advance subscribers can link to the case to read the complete headnotes and summaries. © Copyright 2014 LexisNexis. All rights reserved. Hanover Insurance Group/Hanover...

Adult Children Can Receive Lifetime Death Benefits: Cal. Comp. Cases October Advanced Postings (10/1/2014)

Here’s the second batch of advanced postings for the October 2014 issue of Cal. Comp. Cases. Lexis.com and Lexis Advance subscribers can link to the case to read the complete headnotes and summaries . © Copyright 2014 LexisNexis. All rights reserved. Alameda County Fire Department...

North Carolina: Average Weekly Wage Computation Must Be Just to Both Parties

Construing a statutory provision that describes how an injured employee’s average weekly wage should be computed, a North Carolina appellate has affirmed a determination by the state’s Industrial Commission that based an award of death benefits on the wages the deceased employee earned during...

Illinois: Death Benefits Awarded for Exotic Medical Condition Contracted on Trip to Brazil

An Illinois appellate court has affirmed an award of death benefits to the widow of an executive who died after contracting Neisseria meningitides, apparently while on a business trip to Brazil. The appellate court noted that the parties had proferred conflicting medical evidence, but indicated it was...

Georgia: Dangerous Railway Crossing Works to Extend Employer’s Premises Beyond Leased Building

A Georgia appellate court held that a worker’s fatal injuries arose out of and in the course of his employment where the vehicle the worker was driving was struck by an oncoming train as the worker crossed railway tracks along a short access road used to gain access to the employer’s premises...

Missouri: Court Affirms Death Benefits for Hep C Exposure

Can a hospital worker recover benefits for hepatitis C without showing the disease was present in the hospital where he worked? Smith v Capital Region Medical Center , 2014 Mo. App. Lexis 1453 (lexis.com), 2014 Mo. App. Lexis 1453 (Lexis Advance) (December 23, 2014) affirmed an award of death benefits...

California: Top 25 Noteworthy Panel Decisions (July–December 2014)

LexisNexis has picked the top “noteworthy” panel decisions issued by the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board during the period July through December 2014. You’ll find many helpful cases in this list, including a recent decision on reasonable attorney’s fees ,...

Maine: Widow Awarded Death Benefits for Husband’s Death on Home Treadmill

Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court has affirmed an award of workers’ compensation death benefits to the widow of a national charity’s financial advisor who died of a heart attack while exercising on a treadmill at his home. Utilizing the presumption found in 39-A M.R.S. § 327, which...

Virginia: Court Affirms Denial of Unwitnessed Death Claim

Continuing its stance within the minority of states that refuse to provide a presumption of compensability in cases in which a worker suffers fatal injuries in an unwitnessed accident, a Virginia court has affirmed the denial of death benefits to the estate of a worker who died from injuries caused by...

Wisconsin: Average Weekly Wage for 17-Year-Old Killed in Work-Related Injury Should Be Based on Probable Earnings Had He Reached Age of 27

Death benefits to be paid following the work-related death of a 17-year-old farm worker should be calculated using the presumption provided for in Wis. Stat. § 102.11(1)(g), held a Wisconsin court. That statute provides that where the employee is under 27 years of age at the time of death, his or...

Kentucky: Injured Employee’s Settlement Does Not Bind Widow’s Subsequent Death Benefits Claim

Where an employee sustained a serious work-related injury—a torn thoracic aorta—in February 2006, and died almost four years later, having signed a release as to all future claims against the employer for an agreed upon lump-sum payment, his widow was not precluded from seeking death benefits...

Pennsylvania: Exchange of Traditional, Native-American Vows Creates Common-Law Marriage

Evidence that, inter alia , a Native-American couple gathered outdoors with family and friends, had a ceremonial blanket placed upon their shoulders, and exchanged traditional vows and gifts in the manner of their cultural heritage was sufficient to establish a common-law marriage, held a Pennsylvania...

The Bangladesh Post: Spousal Benefits Less For illegals Per Delaware Death Statute

It has been an exciting week for this blogger. On Tuesday a group of us (Matt Fogg, Julie Pezzner, Gary Baker, Susan Ament, Mike Owen and Andy Carmine) travelled to Washington, D.C. to observe a Supreme Court oral argument and spend a few cherished moments in the chambers of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg...

California Supreme Court Rules “Some Contribution” to Causation in Death Case Sufficient for Liability

The California Supreme Court has reversed a Court of Appeal decision which had in turn reversed a W.C.A.B. award of dependency benefits in South Coast Framing v. W.C.A.B. (Clark) .The Supreme Court decision reinstates the W.C.A.B. award of dependency benefits and explicitly rejected the Court of Appeals...

California: South Coast Framing

The recent California Supreme Court case, South Coast Framing Inc. v. WCAB (Jovelyn Clark) clarifies the standard of causation in a workers’ comp death case. In day to day workers’ comp practice the decision will probably be helpful to workers’ comp claimants who are litigating to...

Federal: Employee’s Death in Taxi Accident While He Shopped for Groceries Found Compensable Under Defense Base Act

The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an award of death benefits under the Defense Base Act (DBA) to the widow of an employee who died in an auto accident in Tbilisi, Georgia, while traveling by taxi to shop for groceries. The employee worked for a subcontractor working for the U.S. Department of...

California Workers’ Comp Case Roundup (8/6/2015)

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES Vol. 80 No. 7 July 2015 A Report of En Banc and Significant Panel Decisions of the WCAB and Selected Court Opinions of Related Interest, With a Digest of WCAB Decisions Denied Judicial Review CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE © Copyright 2015 LexisNexis. All rights...