Q: My husband passed away while under WC.
He fell at work that caused trauma to the head, a seizure and heart attack. When his meds ran out he tried getting them refilled and contacted WC and his doctors. He was going back and forth with both with no help. He went 13 days without his meds when he had a fatal heart attack. Who is negligent?
Your question is simple but the answer is very complex. To establish the heart attack (HA) was related you have the burden of proof and must prove essentially what is a "but for" test. It is one of the most onerous burdens to prove; you must prove his job was a "substantial cause" of the HA. The WC manuel states: Pursuant to Section 408.008, a heart attack is a compensable injury only if the following requirements are proven:
(1) the attack can be identified as:
(A) occurring at a definite time and place; and
(B) caused by a specific event occurring in the course and scope of the IW’s employment;
(2) the preponderance of the medical evidence regarding the attack indicates that the IW’s work rather than the natural progression of a preexisting condition or disease was a substantial contributing factor of the attack; and
(3) the attack was not triggered solely by emotional or mental stress factors, unless it was precipitated by a sudden stimulus.
#2 is very difficult, sorry. Hire a good WC lawyer.
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