Barrett Business Services, Inc. D/B/A Enterprise Masonry v. Robert Edge, (C.A. No. N18A-05-005 CEB – Decided May 1, 2019)

Superior Court disapproves Board’s decision that employer must pay for any medical treatment the claimant receives in the hospital where he is treated following a work-related injury.

The Superior Court reasoned that the Board had several alternative expert theories on causation but did not rely upon any of them. Instead, the Board side-stepped the question by finding in the broadest terms possible that the work injury caused the claimant to go to the hospital where he was treated for high blood pressure. In so doing, the Board effectively broadened the liability of the employer to that of a general insurer and ignored the basic question of causation. That determination, the court stated, is not acceptable. As stated by the court, a holding by the Board that the employer must pay compensation for any treatment that occurs in a hospital after a workplace injury is inconsistent with the Act. The mere fact that a condition is discovered at the same time does not equate to but for causation. Therefore, the court reversed and remanded the Board’s decision since it failed to articulate findings on causation sufficient to allow the reviewing court to engage in appellate review. 


Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2019

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