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Workers' Compensation

New York: Death Benefits Awarded in Spite of Worker's Suicide

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 to resolve conflicting medical evidence -- here there was deep disagreement between the expert offered by the widow and that presented by the employer. In particular, the Board found credible the widow's expert who testified that there was a noticeable difference in decedent’s personality, demeanor, speech, and ability to answer questions following the May 2015 industrial injury. resulting from medications the claimant took for a prior work-related injury. The expert added that decedent’s suicide was a direct result of a two year degradation of decedent’s mental status. While that was contradicted by the employer's expert, it was for the Board to resolve the medical evidence.

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 Meager v. Saratoga County Sewer Dist., 2020 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4310 (3d Dept. July 23, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 38.01.

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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