Case name: Hannaford Brothers, 112 NYWCLR 221 (N.Y.W.C.B., Full Board 2012).
The New York Workers' Compensation Board held that an assistant manager was entitled to benefits for the aggravation of his preexisting post-traumatic stress disorder.
What it means:
In New York, to establish a claim for work-related stress, the worker must show that the stress he experienced was greater than that which other similarly situated workers experienced in the normal work environment.
Summary: The board affirmed the workers' compensation law judge's decision establishing the case for an assistant store manager at a supermarket who alleged he suffered an aggravation of his preexisting PTSD due to a coworker's husband, who threatened his life and may have attempted to hire someone to kill him. The stressors the worker experienced at the hands of his coworker's husband were clearly far greater than that experienced in a normal work environment.
Also, although the subsequent escalation of the conflict occurred outside of the worker's employment, the record supported a finding of a sufficient nexus to the employment. The coworker's husband threatened and harassed the worker at his office regarding a business call he made to his coworker from his place of employment. The coworker's husband contacted the worker's superior and claimed to have a recording of the phone call, which prompted an investigation by the employer into the allegation.
As for the preexisting condition, the board noted that the worker's PTSD was not disabling before the work-related incident. It was not until after the initial altercation with the coworker's husband that the worker began treating with medication and missed a significant amount of work. Therefore, the aggravation of his preexisting PTSD was causally related to his employment.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
March 4, 2013
Copyright 2013© LRP Publications