A woman whose hand cyst exploded while tagging tools at work, causing her to fall and be injured, has a second chance to show that her injuries are compensable, a court of appeal held on Thursday.
In the Ackley v Labor Commission the Utah Court of Appeals ordered the Utah Labor Commission to consider the compensability for the detail worker's injuries under the idiopathic case doctrine.
Lillian Ackley worked in the painting department of a Lowes home improvement store. She suffered from a ganglion cyst on her right hand, a condition she was diagnosed with in 2010. In 2014, while placing stickers on hammers, she gripped the tool tightly in her right hand as it began to slide, causing her cyst to rupture. and she lost consciousness. She hit her head and shoulders on the concrete floor in the fall and was diagnosed with a closed head injury, a torn rotator cuff, a scalp injury and hearing loss.
A judge in the Administrative Court found that Ackley failed. to show that the effort required by her job led to her injuries, but rather claimed that her grip on the hammer was "both common and ordinary" and denied her demands for benefits. Ackley appealed to the Utah Labor Commission, which upheld the ALJ's decision. Mr Ackley appealed again, and the Board of Appeal reversed the Commission's decision.
The Court of Appeal found that the Commission erred in not examining whether her terms of employment "increased the dangerous effects of the autumn."
Since Mrs Ackley's case was caused by the grip of the hammer, which burst her cyst – the idiopathic condition – and created "enormous" pain, the Commission should have analyzed whether her injuries from the case were compensable by the idiopathic case doctrine, the court said. 19659002] As a result, the Board of Appeal considered that the question whether Ackley's employment conditions increased or aggravated her risk of injury due to idiopathic cases had to be decided by the Commission, and restored the case for further consideration.