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Treatment of Stress Disorder Not Arising from Worker's Injury Not Compensable
Description Worker suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from an accident in which his truck killed the driver of a car and seriously injured a passenger. Under Arkansas law, compensation is not provided for mental injuries unless they arise from physical injuries suffered by a worker.
Topic Employment Law
Key Words Workers Compensation, Stress Disorder
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Kuligowski, a truck driver, was in an accident in which his truck skidded into a car, killing the driver and seriously injuring a passenger. Kuligowski recovered from his physical injuries from the accident, but suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from the death and injury inflicted in the accident. The Workers' Compensation Commission awarded Kuligowski benefits for treatment of his mental condition; his employer appealed.
Decision Reversed. Under state workers' compensation law, mental illness is not compensable unless it is caused by a physical injury arising out of and in the course of employment. The stress disorder here does not stem from the physical injuries suffered by the employee. His psychologist has testified that the distress does not stem from the physical injuries suffered by the employee, so it is not covered by the law.
Citation Amlease, Inc. v. Kuligowski, ---S.W.2d--- (1997 WL 772836, Ct. App., Ark.)

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