Decision Patricia Descoteaux v. Raytheon Company

Date: 08/08/2005
Organization: Department of Industrial Accidents
Docket Number: DIA Board No. 048496-00
Location: Boston
  • Employee: Patricia Descoteaux
  • Employer: Raytheon Company
  • Self Insurer: Raytheon Company

HORAN, J. The employee appeals the denial and dismissal of her claim.1 Her emotional injury and incapacity allegedly resulted from a series of events associated with her employment.2 We affirm the decision because the employee failed to offer evidence sufficient to sustain her burden of proving that her employment was the predominant contributing cause of her emotional disability.3



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1The employee correctly points out the judge erred when he wrote that, among other things, she was required to prove "that sexual harassment occurred in the workplace" in order to prevail. (Dec. 67; Employee br. 5.) However, the error is harmless because the record contains no medical evidence sufficient to support a finding of personal injury as contemplated by the statute.

2The details of the employment events are not relevant in light of our decision. We note the judge also found some of the alleged events constituted bona fide personnel actions. (Dec. 55-74.) There was no finding the employer intended to cause the employee emotional distress, and no argument on appeal concerning this issue. See G. L. c. 152, § 1(7A)(last sentence.) Moreover, there is no argument advanced that such intentional conduct would eliminate the need to produce medical evidence to satisfy the "predominant contributing cause" standard.


3General Laws c. 152, § 1(7A), provides, in pertinent part:

Personal injuries shall include mental or emotional disabilities only where the predominant contributing cause of such disability is an event or series of events occurring within any employment.