Court of Appeal review sudden and extraordinary employment condition for psychiatric case

This is a published appellate decision

This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.

The applicant had a work related back injury that resulted in two surgeries. He also claimed a psychiatric injury. The applicant worked at the employer less than 6 months.

The injury occurred when a compactor he was using struck a rock. It caused the applicant who was on a slope to fall backwards. The compactor fell on top of him.

The applicant contended the psychiatric injury was a sudden and extraordinary event because he had not worked there for 6 months. At trial, The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) found the psychiatric claim compensable because this type of injury could not have been anticipated and was not foreseeable.

On petition for reconsideration the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) affirmed the WCJ decision based on credibility.

The appellate court reviewed section 3208.3 (d). They then reviewed cases on sudden and extraordinary events. They reviewed Matea v.WCAB, SCIF v WCAB (Garcia) and Travelers v WCAB (Dreher).

Here they indicated the applicant did not meet the burden of proof that a sudden and extraordinary employment condition caused his injury. The applicant did not introduce any evidence of this. The applicant failed to introduce evidence that this was an uncommon, unusual or unexpected event. HB

Case: SCIF v. WCAB (Guzman)

Harvey Brown
3501 Jamboree Rd. Suite 602
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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