Decision  Harvey Saulnier v. New England Window & Door

Date: 09/29/2003
Organization: Department of Industrial Accidents
Docket Number: DIA Board No. 010528-98
Location: Boston
  • Employee: Harvey Saulnier
  • Employer: New England Window & Door
  • Insurer: Credit General Insurance Co. [1]

COSTIGAN, J. The insurer appeals from a decision in which the administrative judge found that the employee’s psychiatric condition was causally related to his accepted 1998 orthopedic injury, and awarded permanent and total incapacity benefits under G. L. c. 152, § 34A. The insurer argues that neither the judge’s findings of fact, nor the expert medical opinions in evidence, support the finding of permanent and total incapacity. It also argues that the judge failed to properly apply the provisions of § 1(7A)2  to the employee’s claim and, thus, committed an error of law in finding that the employee’s work-related neck and shoulder injury was "a major cause" of his psychiatric disability. We disagree on both counts, and affirm the decision.

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1 Due to the insurer’s bankruptcy, the Massachusetts Insurers’ Insolvency Fund assumed the prosecution of the insurer’s modification/discontinuance complaint and the defense of the employee’s claim.

2 General Laws c. 152, § 1(7A), provides in pertinent part:

If a compensable injury or disease combines with a pre-existing condition, which resulted from an injury or disease not compensable under this chapter, to cause or prolong disability or a need for treatment, the resultant condition shall be compensable only to the extent such compensable injury or disease remains a major but not necessarily predominant cause of disability or need for treatment.

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