INJURY IN TEXAS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION DEFENSE CASE
Employer Takes Claimant As He Is When He Enters Employment / Aggravation Of Pre-existing Condition Is Compensable
Gill v. Transamerica Ins. Co., 417 S.W.2d 720 (Tex.App.-Dallas) June 23, 1967
Claimant with a prior spinal injury alleged a new injury while at work. The Carrier argued that he had an ordinary disease of life, spondylolisthesis, or that his injury was a continuation of a prior compensable injury. The trial court found for the claimant but awarded only about $700 total for disability and medical benefits, prompting the appeal on grounds of inadequacy and that the trial court failed to present instructions to jury regarding aggravation of a congenital defect or infirmity.
The appellate court found this was error and remanded because the failure to give proper instruction confused the jury and resulted in the inadequate award. The court stated that liability for a workers’ compensation claim cannot be defeated by showing that the employee was not a well person at the time of the injury. The employer accepts the employee as he is at the time he enters employment. In the event an injury aggravates or accelerates the effect of a pre-existing injury, disease or condition that made the worker more susceptible to such an injury, coverage may not be denied.
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