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The employer does not have to change homes for paraplegics who died



An appeal court in Mississippi on Tuesday was classified as "losing" the court-ordered home modifications in a case stemming from a woman who became paraplegic as a result of a work-related car accident in 2015 and who died while her case went to appeal.

Sharon Grantham was injured while working for Gamma Healthcare Inc., whose employee compensation insurer began paying benefits and providing medical treatment but later questioned requests for alterations to her home and a wheelchair-accessible van.

An administrative judge ordered the insurer – Employers Insurance Co. of Wausau to pay for necessary modifications and a wheelchair-accessible van and, as relevant to the present appeal, the judge and the State Workers' Compensation Commission in 201

9 also ordered the insurer to replace the failed or failing septic system and HVAC- the system at Grantham's home and to pay for real estate / collision insurance for his modified van, according to documents in Gamma Healthcare Inc. and employer insurance Company of Wausau v. Estate of Sharon Burrell Grantham, filed with the Mississippi Court of Appeal in Jackson .

In a separate order, the Commission also ordered the insurer to pay $ 4,000 in law firms "as a sanction for appealing (the judge's) order to replace septic and HVAC systems," according to documents.

Gamma Health and its insurers appealed against the Commission's order on septic and HVAC systems, insurance and sanctions. Grantham died after the appeal was filed and her property was replaced by the appellant, "and the farm acknowledges that Grantham's death reduces the employer's / carrier's obligations to make home repairs and pay for insurance on the van", the documents state. [19659002]

"For that reason, the main issues in this appeal are difficult", the Board of Appeal wrote in its decision, adding that "the appeal against the Commission decision requiring the employer / carrier to replace the septic and plumbing systems and pay for ordinary insurance is dismissed. . "

The Court also left the decisions and wrote that it" does not address the benefits of these issues because they are difficult, but we leave the underlying orders because they require the employer / carrier to take documents that the parties agree are no longer necessary

The Board of Appeal also annulled the sanction decision and wrote that the sanctions "were inappropriate because the employer / carrier presented at least one colored legal argument in support of its appeal."

The employer and its insurer had argued that "the evaluation of the septic system showed that the system's failure was the result of a myriad of 'longs iga ”problems that preceded and were not related to Gr. antham's injury and was "not [Employer/Carrier] responsible for remedying." Similarly, the employer / carrier claimed that the evaluation of the HVAC system showed that the system was already "two to four years beyond its life expectancy" at the time of Grantham's accident and revealed "many other problems with the system, most of which (were) attributable for lack of maintenance ”and“ not related to Grantham's work – related injury ”, according to documents.

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