Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board decides what is a “violent act” for a psychiatric claim

This is a decision of The Workers Compensation Appeals Board

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

The applicant had an admitted injury to her neck, back and shoulders when she was struck by a car in a parking lot. She also alleged a psychiatric injury to this accident.

The defendant alleged that the psychiatric component of the injury is not compensable under Labor Code section 4660.1 (c). Defendant contended that being struck by a car is not a “violent act” which is necessary under the code for the psychiatric injury to be compensable. Defendant contended that a “violent act” has to be either criminal or quasi-criminal violence to be compensable.

The WCAB in this opinion and order denying petition for reconsideration reviewed Labor Code section 3208.3 as well as 4660.1 (c). The WCAB determined that being struck by a car was a “violent act” within the meaning of the statutes.

They concluded that for the purpose of Labor Code section 3208.3 a “violent act” is not limited to just a criminal or quasi-criminal act.

The definition of “violent act” may include acts of strong physical force, intense or extreme force, or are “vehemently or passionately threatening”.

Therefore, in this case the applicant was awarded a psychiatric injury in addition to the physical injuries.

Case: Larsen v. Securitas Security Services, adjusted by Sedgwick CMS

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

Newsletter Sign up

Workers Compensation Feed

Recent Newsletters