deeply worried old man consoled by his wife


A Hospital’s Active Shooter Drill apparently went amuck. Psychiatric Hospital Worker asked to play the role of an Active Shooter was arrested when the Police were not aware of the drill.  As a result, he was handcuffed. According to a lawsuit filed, the Hospital Worker “heard the safeties come off the police officers’ weapons. [He] was scared for his life.”

It was further reported that he was traumatized and he “It’s really a struggle for me to come there every day,” he told the Free Press, adding that he returned to work the next day but left early because he felt uncomfortable.”  It was also reported that “he’s only received a “half-assed” apology from his supervisor, adding that counseling he was provided wasn’t useful.”  According to his lawyers, “he has suffered “anxiety, fear, depression and even suicidal ideation in the days, weeks and months since this incident.”  It was reported that “his lawyer is helping to get him mental health treatment after his request was denied.”  Detroit Free Press

What Was Applicant’s Occupation At The Time of the Injury?

Occupations, at the time of the injury, can determine the nature and extent of an Injured Worker’s permanent disability.   In this fact pattern, the Injured Worker engaged in an activity far different from his job as a Psych Tech.  Technically, one could indicate that he would be considered as an Actor.

In California, the type of employment allows for an occupational adjustment.  Occupational adjustments take place in the rating formula.  Bodily injuries are adjusted upwards and downwards based upon factors including arduousness.  For example, a furniture mover would get an increased rating for the low back injury.

With respect to this individual, a legitimate inquiry into occupational group would be indicated.  An actor’s mental capability might be considered more arduous or taxing versus a Psych Tech.

Are The Symptoms He Reported on Important for Permanent Disability?

Yes.  In California, the Injured Worker not only spelled out symptoms, he also commented upon his ability to function.  One serious symptom he indicated was suicidal ideation.  For functioning, his difficulty being a work setting is worthy of consideration.

In California, Psychiatric impairment are evaluated by the physician using the Global Assessment of Function (GAF) scale. The resultant GAF score shall then be converted to a whole person impairment rating.  To assess the GAF score both an individual’s symptom severity and level of functioning are considered.

What Are Injured Individual’s Treatment Rights?

The fact pattern indicates that the Injured Worker’s treatment was not helpful.

In California, an Injured Worker is able to choose their own doctor.  Even if an Injured Worker is within a Medical Provider Network from the Insurance Company, they are allowed to choose their doctor.  Thus, under Labor Code Section 4600, this Injured Worker, if they did not find the treatment helpful, could have changed to another doctor.

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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