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Pharmacy worker’s injuries from seizure-related fall ruled compensable

workers comp

A Louisiana appellate court on Wednesday ruled that a pharmacy technician was entitled to benefits for injuries from a fall after she suffered a seizure at work.

Eddrina Woodard was working at the counter as a pharmacy technician for Brookshire Grocery Co. when in September 2019 she fell while suffering a seizure. Ms. Woodard sustained injuries to her right shoulder, according to Woodard v. Brookshire Grocery Co., filed in the Court of Appeal for the 2nd Circuit in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Following surgery and work release, her workers compensation claim was denied.

A workers compensation judge found Ms. Woodard’s injury compensable, awarding her weekly temporary total disability benefits from the date of her accident, less a credit for payments made by any group health insurer, plus penalties, attorney fees and interest.

The appeals court affirmed, ruling she met the bar for a workplace injury, explaining that an accident occurs in the course of employment when the employee sustains an injury while actively engaged in the performance of her duties during working hours, either on the employer’s premises or at other places where employment activities take the employee,” and that an “accident arises out of employment if the conditions or obligations of the employment caused the employee in the course of her employment to be at the place of the accident at the time the accident occurred.”

At the time of the accident, the court noted, Ms. Woodard was employed by Brookshire, on her employer’s premises, on the clock and standing at an assigned work location, having just finished assisting in administering flu vaccines.

“The fact that her fall was not directly caused by a work-related activity, but instead by a seizure, does not negate the fact that (her) accident occurred in the course of and arising out of her employment with Brookshire,” the court said.

WorkCompCentral is a sister publication of Business Insurance. More stories here.