Minnesota statute requires that all compensable work injuries must "arise out of and in the course of employment". The "arising out of" requirement is a "legal causation" test. For an injury to arise out of employment there must be a causal connection between the employment and the injury. Minnesota Workers' Compensation courts have developed over the years different theories to try to measure whether a sufficient causal connection between employment and the injury exists. Five major legal tests arise with consistency: peculiar risk, increased risk, actual risk, positional risk, and proximate causation.
Increased Risk Test: The increased risk test has been found by the Minnesota Supreme Court to have been satisfied If the injury follows "as a natural incident of the work...as a result of the exposure occasioned by the nature of the employment." Foley v. Honeywell, Inc., 488 N.W.2d 268, 271 (Minn. 1992). An example of an injury that could be found to be compensable due to an an "increased risk" would be if an employee developed asthma after being continually exposed to a dusty work environment. The theory of compensability would be that the employee having to be exposed to the dust while at work increased the risk of the employee developing asthma.
Therefore, If you think you have an injury that is related to your work, feel free to contact either John Bailey or myself to discuss the circumstances of your injury.
Gillette injuries arise from minute repetitive trauma which result in a compensable work injury when their cumulative effect is sufficiently serious to disable the employee from further work..The term Gillette came from the Minnesota Supreme Court case, Gillette v. Harold, Inc.
In most Gillette cases, the repetitive trauma occurs over a significant period of time. An example of a Gillette injury would be a person whose job duties required a lot of repetitive overhead lifting. Often times, a person will develop shoulder pain that develops over a period of time, until the pain becomes intolerable and requires the person to seek medical attention. For example, if it was determined that the person had a torn rotator cuff, the person's work duties may very well be a substantial contributing factor that caused the rotator cuff tear. Therefore, the rotator cuff tear would then be a compensable work injury.
If you have an injury that has developed over time and you feel that it may be the result of your work duties, feel free to contact either John or myself and we would be happy to discuss your injury with you. Thank you.
The Minnesota Workers' Compensation Act requires an employee to notify the employer of a work-related injury in a timely manner. This is referred to as the "notice requirement," and is set forth in Minnesota Statutes section 176.141. There are three separate time periods specified in the statute, 14 days, 30 days, and 180 days.
An employee can provide either written or verbal notice to their employer of the work injury. If the employer has "actual knowledge" of the of the injury then the "notice requirement" is satisfied. The Minnesota Supreme Court has defined "actual knowledge" as information that would put a reasonable employer on inquiry that the disability is work-related.
There are exceptions to the "notice requirement." Minnesota statute provides that a late report of work injury is excused where an employee is physically or mentally unable to give notice. The time period begins to run when the employee's incapacity ceases. Also the trivial injury doctrine is well established in Minnesota workers' compensation law. The Minnesota Supreme Court has held that the notice period in Minnesota Statutes Section 176.141 may be extended if the employee's injury is deemed trivial. The statutory time for providing notice begins to run from the time it becomes reasonably apparent that the injury has resulted in, or is likely to result in, a compensable disability. There also exists different notice requirements for what is known as Gillette and Occupational Disease injuries
If you have a work injury and you are concerned that you have waited too long to report the injury to your employer, please don't hesitate to contact either the Bailey or Garbow Law Office for help.