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Trash collector fails to prove mental injury contributes to disability

trash collector

A court in Pennsylvania ruled Thursday that a garbage truck driver who suffered a crushing injury to his leg in an accident on a snowy road in 2014 failed to prove that resulting anxiety and depression linked to his physical injuries are causes for additional disability related to loss of earnings.

The ruling affirmed a Workers’ Compensation Judge’s decision in 2018 that stated although the man, who suffered a list of fractures and other injuries, is eligible for some disability after losing ability in his leg, that he failed to prove that a subsequent mental injury contributed to his disability. Therefore, the employer is eligible for a financial credit with regard to that injury, according to documents in No. 411 C.D. 2019, filed in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.

Following his accident, he returned to work in a light-duty position that his employer had created for him in the maintenance shop, keeping track of parts and work orders. He testified that he returned to work because of his depression and that his injury keeps him from his hobbies, such as fishing, documents state.

“While it is undisputed that Claimant sustained a work-related psychic injury, Claimant did not prove that he continues to suffer a loss of earning power relative to such psychic injury,” the latest ruling states, adding that his doctors “specifically indicated that they did not place Claimant under any work restrictions with respect” to his mental injuries.










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