Five Recent Cases You Should Know About (10/15/2010)

Five Recent Cases You Should Know About (10/15/2010)

Larson's Spotlight on Nocturnal Seizure, Intentional Tort, Heart Disease, Credit Against Disability Retirement Benefits, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Larson's surveys the latest case developments that you need to know about. Thomas A. Robinson, the staff writer for Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, has compiled the list below.

MO: Substantial Evidence Supports Commission's Finding that Injury Was Caused by Nocturnal Seizure and Not Related to Employment

A Missouri appellate court recently affirmed a decision by the state's Labor and Industrial Relations Commission that found an employee's double fracture of her wrist did not arise out of and in the course of her employment, but rather was likely caused by a fall related to a nocturnal seizure.  The court acknowledged that there was some evidence that the employee had tripped over a telephone line and fallen at work earlier in the day, but it indicated that substantial evidence supported the Commission's findings.  For example, the employee had sustained nocturnal seizures in the past and as a result of such seizures had earlier sustained severe injuries-a fractured spine, a broken toe, and fractured ribs.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Mo. App. LEXIS 1374. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 130.05.

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FL: Summary Judgment in Favor of Employer Bank Was Erroneous in Employee's Intentional Tort Action

Finding that there were issues of fact that should be determined at trial, a Florida appellate court recently reversed a decision by a county circuit court that had granted an employer summary judgment in an intentional tort action filed against the employer bank by an employee who alleged the bank's actions had been substantially certain to cause injury.  The employee alleged she and others had been forced to work in extremely dusty conditions brought about by the bank's renovation of the work premises, that 8 out of 12 employees had filed health claims based on the conditions, that the bank acknowledged the conditions were horrendous by first bringing in cleaning crews, later fans and air cleaning equipment, and finally moving the employees to another site.  Applying Florida's "substantially certain" rule, the appellate court found that the employee's suit should move forward.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Fla. App. LEXIS 15546. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 103.04.

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FL: Claimant's Medical Problems With "Ascending Aorta" Qualifies as "Heart Disease" Under Special Statute

An appellate court in Florida recently affirmed a finding by a Judge of Compensation Claims that a claimant's thoracic aortic disease was compensable under § 112.18(1), Florida Statutes (2007), because the condition was a "heart disease."  The court indicated that contrary to the employer/carrier's arguments, the evidence in this case demonstrated that the claimant, as a result of his aortic disease, underwent open heart surgery, including heart catheterization, re-implantation of the aortic valve, replacement of the ascending aorta, and reattachment of the coronary arteries. Moreover, the claimant's independent medical examiner, a cardiologist, testified the condition in question qualified as heart disease.  That the aorta was not within the heart muscle itself was not controlling.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Fla. App. LEXIS 15065. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 128.05.

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KS: City of Wichita Entitled to Credit Entire Workers' Compensation Award, Including Attorney's Fees, Against Worker's Disability Retirement Benefits

Indicating that a court should not speculate on legislative intent and should not read a statutory provision to add something not readily found in it, and indicating further that if the provision's language was clear, there is no need to resort to statutory construction, the Supreme Court of Nevada found that Wichita City Code § 2.28.150(d)(3), which provides that "[a]ny amount received under the State Worker's Compensation Act (except medical expenses) shall be deducted from the [City's] disability retirement benefit," clearly and unambiguously means the disability retirement benefit will be reduced by the full amount of the workers compensation award without exception for attorney fees incurred in obtaining the workers compensation award.  The court refused in utilize the so-called, "common fund doctrine," an equitable doctrine that permits a party who creates, preserves, or increases the value of a fund in which others have an interest to be reimbursed from that fund for litigation expenses incurred, including attorney fees.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Kan. LEXIS 742. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, §§ 117.02, 133.01, 157.04.

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PA: Police Office Fails to Show Encounter With Vehicular Fatality Was "Abormal" or "Extraordinary;" PTSD Claim Was Not Compensable

Agreeing with the Board's conclusion that a police officer knew that as a part of his duties he might be subjected to traumatic visuals such as injured children, maimed adults, and death, the Commonwealth Court affirmed the Board's decision denying benefits for the officer's post-traumatic stress disorder associated with the death of a mentally-disturbed woman who ran in front of and struck by his patrol car.   The office was required to show that the event was "abnormal" or "extraordinary."  Because such tragedies were foreseeable, they were not abormal or extraordinary.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 546. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 56.06.

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

   Offer good through December 2010.