It is well-established that the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act affords people the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits following workplace injuries. Issues in recovering such benefits can arise, however, if the employee suffers a second injury that is not work related. In a recent Massachusetts case, the court looked at what constitutes an intervening cause for the purposes of recovering workers’ compensation benefits. If you suffered injuries on the job, you should talk to a Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney about your possible claims.
Procedural and Factual Setting
It is reported that the employee suffered injuries following a fall at work and subsequent activities, including lifting steel rebar at work the following day. The employer acknowledges the compensability of these injuries but disputes the finding that the plaintiff’s later painting activity, specifically painting his brother’s kitchen, was non-work related. The employee sought workers’ compensation benefits, which an administrative judge granted. The employer appealed, and on appeal, the reviewing board of the Department of Industrial Accidents upheld the administrative judge’s decision. The employer filed a subsequent appeal.
Intervening Causes in Workers’ Compensation Cases
The central question on appeal was whether the administrative judge applied an incorrect legal standard of intervening cause. The court explained that it would examine the administrative judge’s findings and reasoning to determine if her decision was arbitrary or capricious. Continue reading →