Five Recent Cases You Should Know About (3/18/2011)

Five Recent Cases You Should Know About (3/18/2011)

Larson's Spotlight on Subsequent Injury, Accidental Injury, Unexplained Injury, Collateral Source, and Defamation Suit. 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.

 OH: Injured Worker's Subsequent Injury at Home While Retrieving Information About Prospective Employer Was Not Compensable

An Ohio appellate court recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation involving a claimant who, following an injury at work, enrolled in the Bureau's vocational rehabilitation program and was required to make fifteen face-to-face contacts with prospective employers each week.  The claimant fell and broke his ankle while returning to his home to obtain contact information regarding another potential employer.  The appellate court agreed that there was no causal connection between his walking across his lawn and the requirements of the rehab program.  His actions were too remotely connected to the job search to support an additional claim for injuries.

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: 2011 Ohio App. LEXIS 1009. 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, § 10.01.

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UT: Accidental Injury Need Not Be Restricted to Single Incident

A Utah appellate court recently found that an accident is not necessarily restricted to some single incident occurring at one particular time; it does not preclude the possibility that a climax might be reached over time.  Accordingly, it was not error for the Labor Commission to determine that a worker's cumulative trauma claim should be classified as an industrial accident—and not an occupational disease—where a worker developed a back and shoulder condition and her job duties required that she repeatedly lift, attach, push, pull, and insert large industrial equipment, some weighing as much as seventy pounds. 

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: 2011 Utah App. LEXIS 64. 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, § 50.06.

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AR: Court Notes Important Distinction Between Unexplained Injury and Injury Caused by Idiopathic Condition and Affirms Award of Benefits

Citing the discussion in Larson's Workers' Compensation Law regarding the important distinction between injuries sustained due to unexplained causes and injuries where the cause is idiopathic, an Arkansas court has affirmed an award of benefits to a truck driver who suffered an unexplained fall from the cab of an auger truck, resulting in broken ribs and a crushed vertebrae. The employer contended the fall was caused by an idiopathic condition, chronic renal disease and that it may have been brought on by the truck driver's use of alcohol, but the Commission found that the fall was unexplained and awarded benefits.  While there was medical evidence from which the Commission could have found that the fall was idiopathic, it had not done so.  The court also noted that even if the fall had idiopathic causes, the Commission had also found that the driver's work on the auger truck increased the dangerous effect of the accident—a finding the employer had not challenged. 

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: 2011 Ark. App. LEXIS 204. 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, § 7.04.

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KY: Railroad Employee Limited to Recovery of Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses; Health Insurance Was Not a "Collateral Source"

Acknowledging that it is generally improper to reduce a plaintiff's damages by payments for medical treatment under a health insurance policy if the premiums were paid by the plaintiff or a third party other than the tortfeasor, a Kentucky appellate court affirmed a trial court's denial of a plaintiff's motion for a new trial of his tort claim against his employer, the defendant railroad, on the ground that the jury was allowed to speculate about collateral source payments for medical expenses.  The court concluded that under the relevant collective bargaining agreement, the railroad employees health plan was not a "collateral source;" it was, therefore, not erroneous to give a jury instruction that limited plaintiff to recovery of his out-of-pocket medical expenses only.

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: 2011 Ky. App. LEXIS 49. 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, § 94.02.

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WI: Former Employee's Defamation Suit is Not Barred by Exclusive Remedy Provisions of Workers' Compensation Act

Reaffirming that a tort claim of defamation is generally barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Act, a state appellate court nevertheless recently reversed a trial court's grant of summary judgment favoring plaintiff's former supervisor and plaintiff's former employer because plaintiff was no longer an employee when the alleged defamatory statements were made. 

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: 2011 Wisc. App. LEXIS 203. 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, § 104.04.

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

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