Attorney Draskovic Secures Favorable Decision for Employer in Fatal Claim Petition
A Fatal Claim Petition was filed against the employer seeking benefits as a result of the decedent-employee suffering a fatal heart attack during work hours. It was alleged the heart attack was caused by work activities. The decedent reported to work in the morning indicating he did not feel well. The employee was offered the opportunity to leave work. The employee declined and was assigned very light work due to the complaints. The decedent was a long time cigarette smoker and had pre-existing coronary artery disease. During the course of an exhaustive medical investigation, the defense discovered evidence of additional risk factors, which included a family history of heart disease and untreated hyperlipidemia. In finding the defense medical expert more persuasive, the Judge noted the presence of significant three vessel blockage, which created the risk for imminent heart attack with or without exertion. The employee's early morning complaints were found to be ischemic symptoms indicative of insufficient blood flow to the heart. Lastly, the Judge accepted the defense expert's opinion that the work activity was insufficient to cause an increase in heart rate to the point of causing a fatal heart attack.