News Digest 3-5-2021


Arizona justices uphold PTSD workers’ comp claim of sheriff’s deputy

The Arizona Supreme Court has reversed a decision by the state Industrial Commission that had denied a workers’ compensation claim by a former sheriff’s deputy who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder due to stress from a fatal shooting. The commission in 2018 denied the workers’ comp claim, citing state law requiring mental health claims to be caused by unexpected, unusual or extraordinary stress; because he was a law enforcement officer, shooting and killing aren’t “unexpected” or “unusual,” the commission had ruled. azcentral [may require registration]


New Hampshire employee gets second court victory over medical cannabis claim

The New Hampshire Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of a man who was prescribed medical cannabis for back pain, on the issue of whether workers’ compensation can reimburse him for the cost. The state had argued that an insurance carrier, under federal law, could be prosecuted for aiding and abetting a cannabis possession crime if it had to reimburse him. WCAX (South Burlington, Vt.)


Lawsuit accuses New Mexico governor of protecting workers’ comp official

A new lawsuit accuses New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration of directing state agencies to withhold public records to protect the workers’ compensation acting deputy director and mediations bureau chief, who was promoted despite previously having been accused of bullying and harassment, and asks the court to compel production of the records. In 2015, while working as an assistant attorney general, the individual was accused of bullying and inappropriate behavior toward female employees of a nonprofit organization for which he had oversight duties, according to court records and media reports. Santa Fe New Mexican


Illinois appeals court rules parent company providing workers comp can’t be sued by sub’s employee

A recent decision of the Illinois Appellate Court indicates the exclusive remedy provisions of the Illinois workers’ compensation statute can extend beyond an injured employee’s direct employer, writes Kenneth M. Gorenberg, a partner with Barnes & Thornburg LLP. National Law Review


Missouri insurer reverses, decides to cover claim by policeman’s survivors

Missouri Employers Mutual has reconsidered its earlier decision and will honor the workers’ compensation claim by the family of a Lebanon policeman who died of COVID-19 in late December. The state’s governor last April enacted an emergency rule that allows first responders to receive workers’ compensation if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or if they are quarantined because of it. Springfield News-Leader