The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission awarded benefits to a worker for a heart attack caused as a result of an increased work load. The facts are straight forward. The injured worker was a field operation technician. He began working in 2000 and was assigned approximately 85 cell towers to inspect and maintain. From 2000 to 2005, the number of towers for which he was responsible doubled. His job required him to be on call 24/7 and he worked up to seven days per week.
During the week prior to October 3, 2005 there was a string of severe storms that hit between Rantoul, Illinois and Kansas City, Kansas. The injured worker was responsible for visually verifying the alarms and the repair had to be done within ten days or the Company would be fined $10,000.00 per tower causing the injured worker to race around in his car inspecting and repairing towers, driving long distances and working very long hours. He testified he suffered a heart attack at 1:00am on Sunday, October 3rd after returning home from a job. He further testified that the storms caused him a much greater work load and he experienced greater stress than he normally had when working.
On admission to the hospital emergency room, he received treatment for an acute myocardial infarction. A physician testified that the occupational stress was one of the causative factors in aggravating and accelerating the worker’s cardiovascular disease. Based on the testimony of the injured worker and the physician who opined the causal relationship between the work activities and the aggravation of the cardiovascular disease, the injured worker was awarded medical expenses, temporary total disability expenses and permanenet partial disability benefits. Although the injured worker did return to work, he was entitled to permanent partial disability benefits for the heart attack. If you have any questions about this case or how to prove a work related injury, feel free to telephone us at 312-263-6330 or contact us via our website: www.kfeej.com.
Tags: occupational stress causing heart attack, work related heart attack, workers' compensation benefits for heart attack