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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pulmonary Embolism Due to Sedentary Work Held Compensable

Workers' Compensation benefits were awarded for a pulmonary embolism causally related to sedentary work activity. A NJ Appellate Court awarded benefits for the development of a pulmonary embolism precipitated by the inactivity of sitting long hours at a desk job.

This is the second time that the Appellate Division review this matter. Previously it denied benefits for an "occupational exposure" type heart condition. This time the Court declared thst the pulmonary embolism as an ordinary cardiovascular incident triggered by a significant event, that being inactivity.

The reasoned, "The workers' compensation judge followed our instructions on remand and applied Section 7.2 which states that:

"In any claim for compensation for injury or death from a cardiovascular or cerebral vascular causes, the claimant shall prove by a preponderance of the credible evidence that the injury or death was produced by the work effort or strain involving a substantial condition, event or happening in excess of the wear and tear of the claimant's daily living and in reasonable medical probability caused in a material degree the cardiovascular or cerebral vascular injury or death resulting therefrom.
Material degree means an appreciable degree or a degree substantially greater than de minimus.
Thus, the question is whether Cathleen's lack of movement at work was more severe than her lack of movement in her daily living, and whether the inactivity at work caused her pulmonary embolism in a material way."


Renner v AT&T, A-2393-10T3, 2011 WL 2518781 (N.J.Super.A.D.) Decided June 28, 2011

For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.