Chronic Pain Caused High Blood Pressure
Volunteers of America, 113 NYWCLR 168 (N.Y.W.C.B., Panel 2013)
Ruling: The New York Workers’ Compensation Board held that the carrier was obligated to pay for the worker’s high blood pressure medication.
What it means: In New York, where the worker provides convincing medical testimony that her condition is due to chronic pain, which is secondary to a work accident, she is entitled to medical treatment for the condition.
Summary: The board held that the carrier was obligated to pay for the worker’s high blood pressure medication. At the hearing, the worker submitted a letter from her treating doctor, which stated that the worker’s chronic pain, secondary to her work accident that had occurred 10 years prior, was causing escalation of her blood pressure, thus necessitating medication. In finding the carrier liable, the panel noted that the carrier submitted no contrary medical evidence.
Also, the panel rejected the carrier’s argument that the workers’ compensation law judge improperly precluded the production of an IME report, as the carrier had represented to the WCLJ that no IME had been prepared and that it had not even retained a consultant for that purpose. The carrier failed to allege good cause for excusing what contended was a misrepresentation to the WCLJ.