A specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation can attach a cardiac arrest episode to a workers' compensation claim related to a previous case down a flight of stairs, a New York court of appeal ruled Thursday.
The man injured his ankle in the fall of 2018 and was diagnosed with an ankle sprain and fitted with a boot and elastic support, according to documents in 2021 NY Slip Op 01307, et al., filed in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Third Division, of Albany.
While at home one month after suffering his injury, he experienced "recurrent syncopal episodes, shortness of breath and chest pain" and was hospitalized after being diagnosed with pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis of the popliteal left lower extremity. After a 22 ̵
After considering additional medical evidence and testimonies, a workers' compensation judge changed the requirement to include major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and cardiac arrest.
The employer's compensation insurer, which was not mentioned in the decision, "took an exception to the amendment to the requirement to include cardiac arrest" and submitted an application to the workers' compensation board for review, "claiming that there was none according to documents.
Referring to medical testimonies from two specialists who linked the previous injury to the heart problems, the board concluded that "there was medical evidence to support the change in the claim" and upheld the decision to judge the employee compensation.
In further appeals, five judges affirmed with a state appeals court, writing that there was “competent medical evidence in the minutes before us to support the Board's finding that the plaintiff suffered from heart problems and problems … deliberately directly related to his underlying injury.