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Controversy stirred over case of workers' compensation

New Hampshire and the neighboring state of New Jersey witnessed with interest the state Supreme Court ruling that the spouse of a manager at AT &T was not entitled to workers' compensation following her death, allegedly due to prolonged sedentary activity at her job.

This was a decision reflecting an overturned ruling in a lower court.

The courts found that the 47-year-old mother of three died from a lung clot allegedly caused by sitting at her home office desk after an overnight work shift.

The state appellate court upheld the previous decision that the woman suffered from pulmonary embolism and her death was work-related, her husband was entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

The Supreme Court voted to reverse the ruling based on lack of evidence that the employee's work was the reason for her death. The judge maintained the woman had been able to do routine work duties that did not require extended periods of time in a seated position.

According to court records, she had worked through the night to finish her project. During the 911 call she made before midnight, she complained of shortness of breath. She was pronounced dead on arrival at Edison's JFK Hospital.

The woman is survived by her husband and three children.

A medical expert testified that the lung clot was related to the sedentary work required by her work, and emphasized the woman otherwise led an active lifestyle, regularly attending her children's athletic events. AT&T disagreed claiming other factors contributed to her death including birth control pills, obesity, and an enlarged heart.

If you live in New Hampshire, workers' compensation can be a delicate balance between employers' efforts to avoid lawsuits, and employees' need for protection when they are hurt on the job. If you or your spouse has a workers' compensation case, you will need the care and dedication of a person who can protect you from losing hope during periods of recovery or reduced income due to medical bills. You and your family deserve to be protected during any disability, or death-related case of workers' compensation.

Source: New, "N.J. family denied workers' comp after mother died following 10 hours behind desk, high court rules" Brent Johnson, Jul. 30, 2014

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