Workers' Compensation

Recent Posts

Alaska: High Court Reiterates Limit of $10K in Benefits for Deceased Worker Who Had No Dependents
Posted on 1 Jan 2022 by Thomas A. Robinson

Despite the apparent harshness of the rule, the Supreme Court of Alaska affirmed a trial court’s decision granting a general contractor and building owner summary judgment in a wrongful death action filed by the estate of an apprentice electrician... Read More

Connecticut: Benefits for Suicide Awarded under Chain-of-Causation Theory
Posted on 27 Dec 2021 by Thomas A. Robinson

Acknowledging that an employee’s death had resulted from acute intoxication, a Connecticut appellate court nevertheless held substantial evidence supported a finding that there was an unbroken chain-of-causation between the employee’s original... Read More

New Hampshire: High Court Says “Chain-of-Causation” Rule Applies to Suicide Claims
Posted on 27 Dec 2021 by Thomas A. Robinson

The Supreme Court of New Hampshire, in a case of first impression, held that the appropriate test to gauge the compensability of suicide claims should be the so-called “chain-of-causation.” In its ruling, the Court affirmed a ruling by the... Read More

New York: Death Benefits Must be Based Upon Reasonable Medical Opinion, Not Conjecture
Posted on 28 Jul 2021 by Thomas A. Robinson

Noting that the surviving spouse had the burden of showing a causal connection between his wife’s death and her employment, and stressing that speculative medical evidence was insufficient, a New York appellate court affirmed a decision by the New... Read More

Missouri: Nondependent Parents Fail to Show Worker’s Death Was Due to Idiopathic Condition
Posted on 22 May 2021 by Thomas A. Robinson

A Missouri appellate court affirmed a decision by the state’s Labor and industrial Relations Commission that held a worker’s death from a heat stroke was a compensable accident, thus barring a tort action filed by the worker’s nondependent... Read More

South Carolina: Using “Bunkhouse Rule,” Court Affirms Award of Death Benefits to Murdered Motel Employee
Posted on 25 Apr 2021 by Thomas A. Robinson

Applying the so-called “bunkhouse rule,” a South Carolina appellate court affirmed a decision by the Appellate Panel of the South Carolina Court of Appeals that had awarded death benefits to the children of a motel worker who was shot and... Read More

New York: Widow Fails to Connect Husband's 2016 Death to 2004 Work Injury
Posted on 26 Oct 2020 by Thomas A. Robinson

The presumption contained in N. Y. Workers' Comp. § 21(a) was insufficient to support an award of death benefits to a widow whose husband suffered an injury by accident in 2004, was awarded PPD in 2007, and who died in 2016, where the only medical... Read More

Kentucky: Death Following Surgery is Compensable in Spite of Passage of 10 Years
Posted on 18 Oct 2020 by Thomas A. Robinson

Where an injured worker died from complications following surgery to treat a medical condition that was tied to a work-related injury that had occurred ten years earlier, his widow was entitled to statutory income benefits under Ky. Rev. Stat. §... Read More

Colorado: Death Benefits Awarded in Spite of Traveling Employee's Intoxication
Posted on 18 Sep 2020 by Thomas A. Robinson

An airline pilot's "deviation" ceased when he and a colleague stopped drinking and retired to the colleague's hotel room--the pilot was so inebriated that he could not find his own hotel--held a Colorado appellate court. Accordingly... Read More

New York: Death Benefits Awarded in Spite of Worker's Suicide
Posted on 27 Aug 2020 by Thomas A. Robinson

A New York appellate court affirmed an award of death benefits to the widow of a workers who committed suicide some two years after he suffered a debilitating work-related injury to the head. The appellate court stressed that it was the Board's duty... Read More

Maryland: Husband's Settlement Release Does Not Bar Non-Signing Spouse From Death Benefits
Posted on 27 Jun 2020 by Thomas A. Robinson

Stressing that a person who is not a party to a contract is not bound by its terms, a Maryland appellate court held that a widow was not bound by a settlement agreement signed by her husband that purported to release not only the husband's rights... Read More

Mississippi: Unpaid Child Support Lien Does Not Attach to Death Benefits Where Deceased "Father" Gave Up Parental Rights
Posted on 27 Jun 2020 by Thomas A. Robinson

The Supreme Court of Mississippi, in a divided decision, reversed a similarly divided decision by the state's Court of Appeals, and held that where a father's parental rights had been terminated through a properly administered adoption proceeding... Read More

South Dakota: Death Benefits Awarded Following Fatal Trench Collapse
Posted on 24 Apr 2020 by Thomas A. Robinson

The Supreme Court of South Dakota affirmed an award of death benefits to the surviving spouse of a municipal employee who died in a work-related trench collapse and criticized the state's Department of Labor for coming "perilously close to the... Read More

South Carolina: No Death Benefits Where Girlfriend Fails to Show Adequate Reliance Upon Deceased Employee
Posted on 28 Mar 2020 by Thomas A. Robinson

The Supreme Court of South Carolina held a deceased employee’s girlfriend — early in the litigation, she had contended she was his common law wife — could not recover workers’ compensation death benefits because she had failed... Read More

West Virginia: Adult Daughter’s Dependency Claim Fails Due to Absence of Proof as to Support
Posted on 23 Sep 2019 by Thomas A. Robinson

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, in a memorandum decision, affirmed a decision of the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board of Review that denied dependent’s benefits and fatal dependent’s benefits to the daughter of... Read More