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North Dakota Supreme Court rules workers’ PTSD not compensable



The North Dakota Supreme Court upheld a decision that an injured worker’s post-traumatic stress disorder was not a compensable injury even though it arose out of a workplace incident.

The court, in its decision Thursday, agreed with the findings of North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance, an administrative law judge and a district judge, all of whom found Cliff Provin’s PTSD non-compensable.

Mr. Provins, who was employed by Dickinson, North Dakota-based Baranko Environmental LLC, was injured in May 2019 when he was crushed by a 2,000-pound trailer on the job.

WS&I approved Mr. Provins claimed workers’ compensation while he was out of work and being treated for his injuries, but in August 2020, he denied benefits for a subsequent PTSD diagnosis and retroactively terminated disability benefits effective November 5, 201

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An administrative law judge upheld WS&I’s decision, as did a district court judge.

In upholding the district court’s decision, the North Dakota Supreme Court said that “a reasonable mind could reasonably conclude that Provins failed to establish the necessary causal link between his physical injuries and his PTSD, weighed against all other contributing factors.”


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