Workers' Compensation

Recent Posts

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

Massachusetts: Business Owner’s Fatal Auto Accident Did not Arise Out of Employment
Posted on 31 Aug 2019 by Thomas A. Robinson

An appellate court in Massachusetts affirmed a determination by the Massachusetts Industrial Accident Reviewing Board that denied death benefits to the family of a business owner who sustained fatal injuries in an automobile accident as he traveled to... Read More

Maryland: Employee’s Broad Release Does Not Bar Subsequent Death Benefits Claim by Surviving Spouse
Posted on 27 Aug 2019 by Thomas A. Robinson

Citing Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law , and stressing that a surviving spouse’s death benefits claim is not derivative of the injured worker’s claim, a Maryland appellate court found that a settlement agreement and full release... Read More

Texas: Family of Deceased Worker Fails to Maintain Gross Negligence Action Against Employer
Posted on 17 Jul 2019 by Thomas A. Robinson

Construing the special exception to the Texas version of the exclusive remedy rule—that the survivors of an employee may maintain a wrongful death action against the employer if the employee's death was caused by an intentional act or omission... Read More