A worker's depression, anxiety and chronic pain syndrome are randomly related to his workplace injury, an appellate court in Texas held on Tuesday.
I Ace American Insurance Co. v. Elmer Texas Court of Appeals, Dallas' Fifth District, upheld a trial court's finding that a truck driver's shoulder and knee injuries led to his pain syndrome and mental health problems and that they could be compensated.
In 2014, Mr. Elmer tore the meniscus to his left knee and his left shoulder rotator cuff while leaving the tractor trailer. Ace American Insurance Co. accepted the damage as liable. In 2017, he also reported that he suffered from chronic pain syndrome, depression and anxiety as a result of the injury. The Department of Work Compensation in Texas found that chronic pain, depression and anxiety could be compensated, and a court agreed. Ace appealed, but a Texas appellate court upheld the decision.
Although Ace argued that Elmer's physician failed to establish a positive link between work injury and his depression, the court did not appeal and held that the trial court correctly considered evidence in concluding that it was legally sufficient to support the conclusion that Elmer's mental problems and chronic pain syndrome were related to the occupational injuries. The court also found that Ace's expert report was inconsistent and left the trial "free to believe a witness and not believe others."