A worker passed out at work. She was working on a copier when she passed out and fell due to a personal medical condition completely unrelated to work. When she passed out she struck her head and shoulder on the concrete floor, suffering a concussion and fractured collarbone. She was taken to the ER and is now in need of orthopedic and neurologic treatment and will be out of work for several months. Her employer denied her request for workers compensation benefits, telling her that the cause of her fall was unrelated to work. She was instructed to put her treatment through her private insurance and to file for State Disability. Does she have any remedy?
In New Jersey, while the medical condition causing the fall is not compensable, the injuries sustained by her contact with the floor are compensable. While the employer is not responsible for her unrelated condition, the employer is responsible for injuries resulting from the actual contact with the employer’s premises, here, the concrete floor. The floor, machinery, etc. at the workplace are considered a condition of the employment. In this situation a worker’s compensation Claim Petition should be filed seeking compensation benefits, which will include medical treatment, temporary disability and partial permanent disability.