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Driver deserved workers' comp benefits, per Connecticut Court

Different jobs bring different challenges, and a job's challenges and burdens may change over time. One particularly difficult aspect of a Connecticut worker's job environment may be his or her interactions with coworkers and particularly managers.

According to recent reports, one Connecticut delivery driver experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after a new manager was assigned to him. The Connecticut Supreme Court has recently held that this work-related illness entitled him to workers' compensation benefits.

Preliminary reports suggest that the FedEx driver's illness emerged after he was assigned a new manager. The manager significantly increased the driver's workload and cited him for infractions on two occasions. The driver, who had worked for FedEx since 1987, began to worry about his job security with the company.

Then, while working on a hot day in 2009, the driver, who had not been allowed time for restroom or food breaks, was behind schedule in part because he had been ordered to try to redeliver a package. The package recipient was again not present to accept the package, and the driver began to suffer atrial flutter or heart palpitations. Following a medical examination, the driver was diagnosed with PTSD.

The Connecticut Supreme Court determined that the driver is owed workers' compensation benefits, upholding the Connecticut Workers' Compensation Review Board's award of 47 weeks of temporary total disability benefits. Under state law, a workplace must be a "substantial" factor to determine whether a worker is eligible for benefits. Though the worker's atrial fibrillation could have existed prior to the aforementioned day, the anxiety, dehydration and physical stress of his job contributed to his diagnosis of PTSD, according to the Court.

Thankfully, this worker received the medical care he needed and has recovered from his workplace illness. Work-related illnesses come in many forms, brought on by the unique demands of individual jobs. If you or a loved one has suffered PTSD or other occupational illness, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.

Source: businessinsurance.com, "Court upholds workers comp benefits for delivery driver diagnosed with PTSD," Donna Mahoney, April 14, 2016

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