Injury from fall from chair after an Idiopathic Seizure is ruled compensable
- Posted By: Harvey Brown
- July 30, 2021
This is a Board panel decision
This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.
The applicant was seated at work doing her job. She claimed a seizure caused her to fall from her chair causing compensable injury to her left shoulder, left arm and neck. She did not claim the seizure itself was compensable.
She had taken pain medication during her thirty minute lunch break. Twenty five minutes after her lunch break she fell injuring herself. There was no evidence she was intoxicated or that intoxication caused her injury. There were no toxicology reports.
The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) at trial ruled the seizure occurred at work. The WCJ indicated that while the idiopathic injury could have occurred anywhere, it occurred at work. The WCJ followed the case of Gideon stating that the fact the seizure occurred at work made the parts of the body injured in the fall industrial.
The WCJ ruled that the applicant’s injury did not present a unique danger to prevent compensability.
The defendant filed a petition for reconsideration. The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) issued a Panel decision. They agreed with the WCJ in following the Supreme Court Gideon case. They concluded that if an employee sustains an injury from a fall on the employer’s premises in the course of employment that it is compensable, even if it was cause by an idiopathic seizure. Therefore, the injury was industrial.
Mass v. Hospital Bus. Services, Inc
Samuelsen, Gonzalez, Valenzuela & Brown
3501 Jamboree Suite 602
Newport Beach, Ca 92660