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Husband of obese worker who died at the her desk entitled to Workers' Comp survivors benefits – New Jersey

The question of a sedentary home office job versus an individual's health factors marked the case of James P. Renner vs. AT&T. Catherine Renner, was working overnight in her home office to finish a project when she died from a blood clot that formed in her leg and moved to her lung. The 25-year-old woman had an enlarged heart and weighed over 300 pounds. Clots in the leg can form as a result of inactivity.

A Workers' Comp judge concluded the claim was compensable and found that Ms. Renner's "work inactivity was greater than her nonwork inactivity" and determined that her work inactivity caused the pulmonary embolism.

Paying Workers' Comp benefits for uninsured sub does not protect contractor from being sued – Massachusetts

In the case of Wentworth v. Henry C. Becker Custom Building Ltd., The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that a suit against a contractor could continue even though it paid the Workers' Compensation claims of two workers employed by an uninsured subcontractor. An explosion at a residential construction site killed a worker and injured his son, both employees of an uninsured subcontractor.

While the general contractor paid lump sum settlements for both workers’ claims, the deceased worker’s widow sued the contractor, alleging negligence caused the death and injuries. Although the contractor argued that accepting compensation released the insured of all common law demand, on appeal the high court ruled that the Workers' Comp law in question does not apply because the deceased and injured workers were not the general contractor's employees, so the contractor is not entitled to immunity from common law claims. The court also noted that the legislature did not intend to give the benefit of immunity to a contractor that willfully or negligently hired an uninsured contractor because the benefit was not available to contractors who obeyed the law.

Injuries incurred at work during tornado not entitled to benefits – Alabama

Three workers from a local Steak-Out, who were injured while working and needed medical treatment after the April 27 tornado, were denied coverage because injuries were sustained only due to an "Act of God," not due to specific work functions. A nuance in the circumstances might lead to a different outcome in Alabama. If a worker’s job puts them at greater than average risk of a tornado related injury, the injury might be covered.

Spouse of police forensic scientist who committed suicide receives benefits – New York

In Donna Veeder vs. New York State Police Department et al. an appellate court overturned rulings by a Worker’s Compensation judge and the New York State Workers' Compensation Board and awarded benefits to the spouse of a police forensic scientist who committed suicide after his employer launched an investigation into fiber analysis test inconsistencies.

Under the state’s law "[t]he terms 'injury' and 'personal injury' shall not include an injury which is solely mental and is based on work-related stress if such mental injury is a direct consequence of a lawful personnel decision involving a disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, demotion, or termination taken in good faith by the employer.” The claimant argued that the employer's actions were not undertaken in the context of a "disciplinary action" and therefore the case was compensable.

Lack of return to work release fails to prove disability – No. Carolina

In Newnam v. New Hanover Regional Medical Center, an MRI technologist was diagnosed with moderate bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and underwent injection therapy and surgery. The surgery was successful but the technologist's treating physician did not release her to return to work and she sought benefits. The North Carolina Court of Appeals explained that the technologist was required to present medical evidence that she was physically or mentally unable to work in any employment as a result of her work-related injury and had not presented such evidence.