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Calif. court overturns comp board's disability denial


SAN JOSE, Calif.—A California appeals court ruled last week that a Home Depot employee is entitled to psychiatric injury-related workers compensation benefits.

The 6th District Court of Appeal's decision in Aaron B. Matea vs. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board overturns a California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board finding that Mr. Matea did not prove his psychiatric injury was caused by a "sudden and extraordinary employment condition." Such a standard had to be met as Mr. Matea had worked for his employer for less than six months.

Mr. Matea had worked for Home Depot for less than six months when a shelf full of lumber fell on him in September 2001. He injured his left foot and ankle, and reported he suffered from depression and related fear, court records show.

A workers compensation judge found Mr. Matea was 100% permanently disabled and entitled to $314.40 per week for life, but the appeals board disagreed.

The San Jose, Calif.-based based appeals court annulled the appeals board decision and remanded the case, ordering the board to issue a new order.

Aaron B. Matea vs. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, 6th Appellate District of the State of California, HO29661