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Workers' Compensation

North Dakota: Unusual Stress Required to Support Heart Attack Claims

Construing North Dakota’s “heart attack/stroke” statute, N.D.C.C. § 65-01-02(11)(a)(3), which generally requires that unusual stress be at least 50 percent of the cause of injury or disease—as compared with all other contributing factors—a divided Supreme Court of North Dakota reversed an administrative law judge’s determination that the widow of a deceased employee was entitled to death benefits following her husband’s fatal heart attack. The majority said the statute made it clear that to prove a compensable heart injury or disease, it was insufficient to look only at the event claimed to have caused the condition. Instead, the statute required that the claimant prove at least 50 percent of the cause of the injury or disease was unusual stress throughout the employment.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the co-Editor-in-Chief and 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 State v. Felan, 2021 ND 97, 960 N.W.2d 805 (2021)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 43.03.

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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