Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Pennsylvania worker's stroke called job-related

Often conditions at a place of employment are so severe that these conditions will lead to a stroke or heart attack for the worker. For this reason, it has been determined that a Pennsylvania worker will be eligible for Workers' Compensation after suffering a stroke that was determined to be work related.

It was determined that heat and physical stress at the workplace likely contributed to the worker suffering a stroke - even though the worker had been with the foundry for 22-years. On top of the physically grueling tasks that were a part of his regular routine, he also had to perform such tasks near the foundry furnace that constantly was emitting heat. The stroke has now left the 50-year old man paralyzed on the left-hand side.

Workers' Compensation cases seeking to show that working conditions contributed to a stroke are often difficult to prove in part because such incidents are rare. Most working related accidents involve strains or sprains and are not associated with heart attacks or strokes. But though such claims can be difficult to prove, attorneys experienced in the area of Workers' Compensation often are able to show such a cause and effect that would lead up to a condition such as a stroke.

The worker at the foundry did suffer from high blood pressure, and his employer sought to get his case dismissed upon this basis. However, it was shown that the worker was required to wear welding clothes and equipment along with a fire suit. There were disputes as to whether the actual working temperatures were close to 100 degrees, but the worker nevertheless would have sweated profusely at even lower temperatures considering the physical nature of his occupation.

The workers' employer has filed an appeal.

Source: The Morning Call, "Victaulic foundry employee wins workers' comp for on-the-job stroke," by Peter Hall, Feb. 20, 2012

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