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Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Workers’ Comp for Dying on Super Bowl Sunday

(CN) - A woman whose husband died of a heart attack on Super Bowl Sunday can collect workers' compensation benefits on his behalf, a New York appeals court ruled.

Connie Roberts' husband was managing Waldbaum's grocery store on Super Bowl Sunday. Hours after an altercation with an irate customer, he had a heart attack and died.

An expert for the widow claimed that the stress of running the store on a historically busy day, along with the stress from the altercation, led to the heart attack.

Waldbaum disputed the connection by pointing out that the altercation took place hours before the heart attack.

A Workers' Compensation Law Judge ruled that Roberts was not entitled to benefits because her husband's death was not causally related to his job. But the Workers' Compensation Board reversed, and the New York Appellate Division's Albany-based Third Department affirmed on Sept. 27.

"Although we agree with the employer that the altercation with the customer occurred hours before decedent's death, we note that the employer's expert testified that, while uncommon, it is possible that an event that does not occur in close proximity to a myocardial infarction could still be a triggering event," Justice Elizabeth Garry wrote.

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