The physical injury aggravated the mental state of a woman who was partially dragged into a trash can while working in the flower department of a grocery store chain in Nevada in 2008, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled Friday.
In 2014, after years of medical treatment and other benefits, a vocational rehabilitation counselor concluded that the woman was permanently and completely disabled and the grocery chain Hy-Vee Inc. voluntarily paid permanent partial invalidity benefits from 2014 to 2018. according to documents in No. S-20 -195.
Continuing to suffer from back pain, the woman submitted an application for a change of price in 2017, claiming in part that she "suffered a mental health injury that Hy-Vee contested."
Hy-Vee in turn presented medical reports stating that "all (her) current pain was the result of a pre-existing somatic symptom disorder that was not caused or exacerbated by the work accident."
The woman, who had previously had mental injuries, "showed that her mental problems were exacerbated by the back injury she received at work in 2008. In her testimony (she) admitted that she was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in the 1
"But (she) testified that her mental health changed when Hy-Vee denied coverage" for one of her treatments "and she had no hope for any other treatment," the documents state.
The Compensation Court, when granting her additional benefits, stated that "in the Court's view … factors showed that Parks suffered" actual physical pain caused by her work accident ", not pain caused by a somatic symptom disorder" and was linked to her deterioration of her mental state.
“The Compensation Court relied on (the woman's) own testimony that her depression and anxiety were exacerbated by her pain. It again rejected Hy-Vee's claim, based on (medical) opinion, that (she) suffered from a somatic symptom disorder and that her depression and anxiety were not caused or aggravated by the work accident, "the documents state.
Hy-Vee appealed, arguing that the Compensation Tribunal erred in a number of ways, including failing to "apply the case law" to the woman's alleged mental health damage.
The Supreme Court disagreed, writing that “the additional award of the Compensation Court had not provided for legal errors, that the Protocol supports the facts on which the additional award is based and that the Compensation Court did not act in excess of its powers to: modify the additional award.