California Supreme Court Slated to Hear Worker’s Comp DisputeBy Kenton Koszdin Law Office on April 1, 2014 | In Workers Compensation Claims
The California Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case in which an injured worker died from an overdose of prescription drugs. The question is whether the death is compensable under California workers compensation laws.
The worker in question worked for a roofing company and suffered back, head, and chest injuries after falling off a roof in 2008. His workers compensation doctor prescribed him Vicodin, Neurontin, and an anti-depressant.
The worker also received prescriptions for anti-anxiety drug Xanex and sleep-aid drug Ambien from his personal physician in January 2009. By July of that year, the worker was dead, allegedly due to drug interactions between the anti-depressant, Neurontin, Xanex, and Ambien, as well as from problems associated with pneumonia.
The worker’s family filed for workers compensation death benefits. They claimed the man died as a result of the drugs he was prescribed following his work-related injuries, and therefore, the death was work-related. Workers’ compensation death benefits can be substantial and include $10,000 for burial expenses for those who were injured after Jan. 1, 2013 or $5,000 for those injured before Jan. 1, 2013. The death benefit payments for families can run from $250,000 to $320,000 depending on the number of dependents.
A workers’ compensation judge awarded the family death benefits, but on appeal, a three-judge panel ruled unanimously against issuing the award, claiming that the claimants had not adequately proven that the man’s death was caused by the medications prescribed by the workers’ compensation physician.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at the Kenton Koszdin Law Office in Los Angeles will be following this important workers’ compensation case that is slated to go before the California Supreme Court. If you have questions concerning your workers’ compensation claim and how to receive the benefits you deserve, call us toll-free at (800) 438-7734. We can also be contacted online.