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Death benefits were denied in case of collapse & # 39; not causation & # 39;



An appeals court in New York on Thursday denied the death benefits to the family of a United Postal Service worker with pre-existing coronary heart disease that led to a heart attack and bypass surgery in 2002, who injured her chest while lifting a package at work in 2006 and 2014. collapsed at home after a suspected drug overdose.

A state employee of the Workers' Compensation Act rejected the survivor's claim for death benefits and found that her death "was not causally related to her employment. . The Workers' Compensation Committee confirmed according to documents in 2021 NY Slip Op 04519, filed in the Appeals Chamber of the Supreme Court of New York, the Third Chamber in Albany.

After her work injury, the UPS worker underwent "a series of surgeries to deal with the injury and problems with her shoulder, knee and back that related to her back in various ways, developed sequelae and eventually were classified with a permanent partial disability. "According to documents.

According to Thursday's decision confirming the denial of death benefits, records recorded "that death died after a night of heavy drinking and that an overdose of drugs was suspected, but no autopsy was performed and her death certificate did not list a cause of death" and that her husband " instead relied on the report of a physician who, after reviewing the decent's medical records and talking to the plaintiff about the decedent's lifestyle, believed that the compensable injuries of death had led to pain and "significant emotional trauma" which in turn caused substance abuse issues that contributed to her death. "

The judgment emphasized that the Government rejected this statement as" unsupported and speculative. But noted that the doctor had not treated the worker yet testified that "although death may have been linked to substance abuse problems that arose due to her compensable injuries, it could also have been" only related to (her) underlying coronary heart disease "and that it the medical evidence simply did not allow it to be found in one way or another.

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