Massachusetts Appeals Court Affirms Temporary Total Disability Award to Nurse Who Was Hurt at Work

Accidents at work can result in substantial harm to employees, including fractures, lacerations, contusions, disc herniations, strains, sprains, amputations, paralysis, blindness, hearing loss, and many other injuries.

In a Cape Cod workers’ compensation case, an employee may be entitled to receive several different types of benefits, both temporary and permanent. It is always best to speak to an experienced work injury attorney to find out more about the particulars of your case if you have suffered a work injury or illness.

Timeliness is very important in workers’ compensation cases. Since claims not filed within the time allowed by law are usually dismissed, it is critical that all paperwork be completed as soon as possible after an accident at work.

Facts of the Case

In a recent (unreported) Massachusetts appeals court case, the plaintiff was a woman who had worked for nearly 40 years as a certified nurse’s assistant. During that time, she had suffered several injuries while at work, which she claimed had left her unable to continue her employment. An administrative law judge (ALJ) awarded the employee permanent total incapacity benefits pursuant to Massachusetts Gen. Laws ch. 152, § 34A. The employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier appealed the matter to the reviewing board of the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.

The Board affirmed in part and vacated in part, replacing the award of permanent total disability benefits with an award of temporary total disability benefits. The insurance carrier again appealed, seeking further review from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Decision of the Massachusetts Appellate Court

The appeals court affirmed the Board’s award to the employee. The insurance carrier argued that the Board should have applied the “major cause” standard of Massachusetts General Laws ch. 152, § 1(7A) to the employee’s injuries and that, had that been done, the employee would not have been able to meet her burden of proving that her disability was work-related. The reviewing court, however, found that there was no error in the Board’s decision.

Per the court, there was adequate support in the record for both the ALJ and the Board to determine that the employee’s prior injuries were causally related to her employment. Thus, there was no need for the “major cause” inquiry sought by the insurance carrier. The insurance carrier also complained that the Board had omitted a certain witness’ name from the list typically set forth at the beginning of a decision, but this was no reason to disturb the ALJ’s ultimate determination on the credibility of the witnesses or other findings of fact.

Talk to an Experienced Cape Cod Work Injury Lawyer

If you have suffered a work-related accident recently, you should talk to a knowledgeable Cape Cod workers’ compensation attorney about the benefits to which you may be entitled, including paid medical treatment and disability payments. The attorneys at the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, regularly handle such cases, and we will be glad to talk to you about your case. Call us at 888-262-6664 to schedule an appointment in our Hyannis or Plymouth offices.

Related Blog Posts:

Massachusetts Appeals Court Affirms Permanent, Total Disability Award in Workers’ Compensation Case

Recent Massachusetts Appeals Court Addresses Earning Capacity Computation in Work Injury Case

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