DID JOURNALIST DEVELOP WORK- RELATED PTSD? INJURED WORKER IN THE NEWS # 32

A Washington Post Journalist on a MSNBC Meet the Press TV Broadcast revealed that“online harassment targeting her and her family caused her to experience “severe PTSD” and contemplate suicide in the recent past.”   “The MSNBC coverage aimed to detail brutal harassment faced by female journalists — noting data that showed 73% reported experiencing online attacks while doing their jobs.”It is reported that, after the broadcast, she has faced “even worse” treatment the segment.  She reported “If your segment or story on ‘online harassment’ leads to even worse online harassment for your subjects, you f—ed up royally and should learn how to cover these things properly before ever talking about them again.” nypost.comThis fact pattern is interesting with respect to the issue employer notification of injury.   Also, it is important with respect to issues of causation and apportionment.

Can This Journalist’s Television Interview Constitute Notice of Claim?

Possibly.  First, if the interview connected the PTSD to her job, it could constitute a connection of the PTSD to her work duties.   Second, her employer would have had watched the program.   If she had expressed connection, ie my job gave me PTSD, and her boss watched the program, there would be notice of a claimed injury for which her employer should notify their workers’ compensation carrier and provide the journalist a claim form.

This action is based upon Labor Code Section 5402, which provides “(a) Knowledge of an injury, obtained from any source, on the part of an employer, his or her managing agent, superintendent, foreman, or other person in authority, or knowledge of the assertion of a claim of injury sufficient to afford opportunity to the employer to make an investigation into the facts, is equivalent to service under Section 5400.”

Why Is Notice of Injury Important?

Under Labor Code Section 5402(b) “If liability is not rejected within 90 days after the date the claim form is filed under Section 5401 , the injury shall be presumed compensable under this division.  The presumption of this subdivision is rebuttable only by evidence discovered subsequent to the 90-day period.”

If The Journalist Didn’t Really Have PTSD, Would It Matter?

No.  Notice of claimed injury is about a “claimed” injury.  It is not about an actual injury.  Thus, a “claimed injury” whether actual or not is the basis for which a claims’ file should be opened.  At that point, it is the Workers’ Compensation Carrier which must investigate.

What If I Need Advice?If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

THE WORST WORK INJURY EVER? INJURED WORKER IN THE NEWS, #20

A Contract Worker was killed at a landfill in Florida in perhaps the most horrible way possible.

While he was using a Porta Potty, a bulldozer ran the portable bathroom and killed his co-worker.

The Bulldozer Operator and the Deceased Employee worked for the same company.   It is reported that the driver ‘… immediately exited the bulldozer and ran towards the porta potty to see if anyone was inside of it,’ the sheriff’s office spokesperson said. ‘At that time, he observed Henderson unresponsive inside the porta potty.’ dailymail.com

This tragic fact pattern will be discussed within California Law.  This fact pattern contains many issues as to whether a worker can sustain a work injury while using the facilities.  Further, is it possible for someone to be “at fault” and pursue a claim.

If A Worker Is On A Restroom Break, Are They Protected Under Workers’ Compensation?

California Workers’ Compensation Law provides for the “personal comfort doctrine.”  The “personal comfort doctrine” provides generally that compensation extends to injuries suffered while the employee is engaged briefly and during work hours in a personal act which is necessary or helpful to his comfort or convenience. (2 Hanna, op. cit., supra, § 9.03[2][a], pp. 9–3—9–31.) The personal comfort doctrine is not strictly limited to injuries suffered on the employer’s premises. ( Cf. State Comp. Ins. Fund v. Workmen’s Comp. App. Bd. (Cardoza) (1967) 67 Cal. 2d 925 [32 Cal. Comp. Cases 525, 64 Cal. Rptr. 323, 434 P.2d 619] Fremont Indemnity Co. v. Workers Comp. Appeals Bd. (1977) 69 Cal. App. 3d 170 [42 Cal. Comp. Cases 297, 137 Cal. Rptr. 847].) [**8]  Its limit is reached when the acts “are found to be departures effecting a temporary abandonment of employment. …” ( Id., at p. 928.) Olson Farms, Inc. v. Workers Compensation Appeals Bd. of California & Suzanne Shawnego, 51 Cal. Comp. Cases 107 (Cal. App. 3d Dist. March 05, 1986)

Thus, the Contract Worker would be covered when he used the restroom since he was engaged in a personal act which was for his comfort.  His family would be able to pursue a Death Benefit Dependency Claim.

What About The Bulldozer Operator Who Cause the Accident, Does He Have A Claim?

With this fact pattern and given the “no fault” nature of workers’ compensation, the Bulldozer Operator, if he sustained an emotional injury as a result of killing his co-worker, could file a claim.  It would appear that the incident may have psychiatrically traumatizing,

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

BURGER INSANITY: INJURED WORKER IN THE NEWS #17

It is reported that a Fast-Food Worker was assaulted and shot in the face by twin sisters. This assault was apparently triggered over a dispute over a $3.00 hamburger that was missing from an order.  According to the police, the sisters “proceeded to attack (Mr.)Rodriguez and one of them shot him in the face while he was down.” dailymail.com 

Videotape showed that the worker was punched in the face, wrestled to the group and shot in the face.  The injury was described as “'[t]he bullet went through [his] upper lip and took out [his] upper teeth and cracked [his] bottom teeth, so those will have to be replaced,’ Rodriguez said.  He also had to use a neck brace to stabilize a part of his spine which was fractured by the bullet. “ dailymail.com

Can Dental Problems Be Work-Related?

In California, dental injuries are included in workers’ compensation.  Therefore, dental care is also included within medical care.  So, if the Injured Worker needed to have teeth replaced, it will be done.  Likewise, the medical care includes future medical care.  So, if any dental repair needs to be done to the repaired teeth, the additional dental care will be provided.

What Type of Workers’ Compensation Injuries May Be Claimed Given These Facts?

From the facts, it would appear that the Injured Worker may have sustained dental injuries, orthopedic injures, possible cosmetic injuries,  a head injury and a psychiatric injury.  Reporting of medical professionals are necessary to determine the nature and extent of the Injured Worker’s problems.

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

 

A ROBECKS EMPLOYEE’S ENCOUNTER WITH A CUSTOMER DID NOT GO SMOOTHLY: INJURED WORKERS IN THE NEWS #12

A Robeck’s Juice Store Customer’s tirade rocked Store Employees.  He shouted anti immigrant statements as well a profanity.  It is reported he tried to enter the employee’s work area and his tossed and struck an employee with a drink.

The Customer was angry because he believed that the employee who prepared the drink with nuts in it.  His child, with nut allergies, had a reaction and required being taken to a hospital. Anaphylactic shock which can be deadly.

It was reported that he said, ‘Shut the f*** up! Stupid f****** idiot. You’re a f***** idiot. I want the f***** number. Shut up,.the furious customer…, demanding to know the number of the corporate office.  ‘You’re a f***** immigrant loser,’ he then says to one of the employees, prompting the rest of the staff to yell at him to leave the store.  ‘Get the f*** out of here, you f****** b***.’  Dailymail.com

Was There a Work Injury?

In this matter, while the facts are strongly suggestive of a work injury, there is more that is needed.  While a Worker was struck by a drink, the question is whether they sustained  either a physical or mental injury as a result.  The same question is with the tirade as well.

Thus, for workers’ compensation purposes, medical professional reporting of either a physical or mental nature is required.  Unlike a personal injury claim that could arise from the incident, workers’ compensation requires more evidence.  The fact pattern lack medical documentation to indicate whether there is a claim.

If The Worker  Was Wrong In Making the Drink Would That Matter?

With this fact pattern, if the Worker had improperly made the drink, it would not matter. The outburst as a result and the throwing of the drink would still be considered as events that could cause a legitimate work injury.   Workers’ compensation is a “no fault” system.  The interaction was between an Employee and a Customer.

What if I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

 

SAN FRANCISCO LIBRARY SECURITY GUARD SUFFERS PIT BULL BITE INJURIES: INJURED WORKERS IN THE NEWS, #11

Dramatic footage shows a San Francisco Library Security Guard viciously attacked by a Pit Bull.  Fellow Officers rescued their co-worker from the dog. dailymail.com

At the time of the incident, the Library Security Guard had been trying to administer narcan medication to a library patron who has passed out.  The patron’s pet was apparently the pit bull which attacked the Security Guard and bit onto his arm.

It is reported that the security guard was is hospitalized with serious injuries

Is This A Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Yes. The San Francisco Library Security Guard can pursue a workers’ compensation claim.  This injury arose and out employment and was within the course and scope of employment. He should be eligible to receive benefits.  For example,  the hospitalization medical bills should be paid in full by workers’ compensation.

What Can Be Claimed For This Security Guard?

The Security Guard may have sustained extensive injuries to multiple body parts and systems. From the facts, it appears that the bite caused a hand injury.  He may require treatment within a variety of medical specialties.  For the bite, he may need to treat with an infectious disease doctor with respect to possible rabies. For scars, he may need to treat with a dermatologist.  For muscular skeletal  injuries, he may need to treat with an orthopedist.  For post traumatic tress issues, he may been to treat with a mental health practitioner.   Depending on the nature and extent of the injuries, this individuals treatment could be complex.

Can the Co-Workers File Workers’ Compensation Claims?

Yes.  There may be possible stress claims for the co-workers if they were emotionally harmed in the incident.  Further, it is possible that they may have sustained injury in fending off the dog.  This could perhaps be orthopedic injury or due to breathing pepper spray if it was used to fend the dog off.

What if I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

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