Monday, November 19, 2007

Moore- Workers Comp suicide case(s)

Moore (name of the deceased) is actually two cases. One was decided and unpublished a while ago and the second just decided on Nov. 15, 2007. This involves a sad situation. The claimant who worked at Western Forge had an injury but then received a Notice of Contest which disputes the claim. This led to his suicide along with his lack of income. For more of the facts visit the link below. It appears his estate sought workers comp death benefits and lost the case all the way up to the Colorado Court of Appeals. Then the estate sued the insurer for bad faith and abuse of process leading to the claimants death. I gather the contest was not appropriate but nonetheless the estate lost this case too. The reasoning appears to be that a suicide is just too far removed from the contest to blame the insurer legally. Seems to me that contested cases are common nowadays and certainly stressful so depression should be a realistic consequence to contesting a case. If depression (which is an illness) leads to death then it is a consequence of the contest and also from the injury. Common sense should tell us that it is all related. While suicide is an extreme act of depression it still is what happened and flows from the injury. If we say that the physical damage from a typical injury is all covered no matter how much then so should the mental damage. Nonetheless the decision is there to read.
Read the case here.

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