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Arizona: Unusual Stress, Not Unusual Event, Key to Deputy’s Entitlement to PTSD Benefits

March 10, 2020 (1 min read)

An Arizona appellate court reversed a decision of the state’s Industrial Commission that denied a PTSD claim filed by a deputy sheriff, finding the Commission had concentrated on the unusual nature of the event which triggered the deputy’s PTSD instead of concentrating on the unusual nature of the stress itself. Looking to the wording of the statute, Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 23-1043.01(B), which denies coverage for mental injuries, such as PTSD, unless some “unexpected, unusual or extraordinary stress related to the employment … was a substantial contributing cause of the mental injury, illness or condition,” the court said it was the stress, not the event, that mattered. Here the deputy had been confronted by an assailant who pointed a shotgun at the deputy’s face and chest at close range. The assailant was shot and killed by other deputies.

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 France v. Industrial Comm’n of Ariz., 2020 Ariz. App. LEXIS 171 (Feb. 18, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 56.04.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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