Workers' Compensation

New York: Fox 5 Makeup Artist Loses Bid to Establish Bartonella bacteria Claim

A New York court affirmed the denial of two airborne illness claims filed by a makeup artist for Fox 5-TV, on the basis that she failed to show the required causal connection between her work and her illnesses. In her first claim, filed in December 2013, she asserted that, while at work, she had sustained multiple injuries from exposure to toxins and irritants, specifically, certain cleaning products. In her second claim, filed in February 2015, she asserted that she contracted a Bartonella bacterial infection from contact with dead rodents in her workplace. At a hearing, the claimant testified that she had observed one live mouse or rat at her place of employment some three months prior to her diagnosis of Bartonella infection. She indicated she had also touched what she believed to be rat droppings in previous years when she was at work. Her claim was undermined largely by the cross-examination of her medical expert. She had not disclosed to him that she had traveled for three months to Croatia during August 2013 (a few months before she contracted the illness). The doctor indicated that in light of that information, he could not state that she had contracted her condition at work.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Matter of Petesic v Fox 5 N.Y., 2019 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5719 (3rd Dept. July 18, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 51.02.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see