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Burn Injuries, PTSD and Serious and Willful Misconduct by an Employer

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This blogger greets you again but this time, with the topic of burns, peripheral neuropathy, epidermic integumental disability, PTSD and serious and willful misconduct by the employer. An employee was operating an oven, baking and curing carbon fiber when the oven suddenly and violently exploded causing a fireball to blast into the employee’s face, burning his head, burning his ears, igniting his hair and burning his hands from putting out the flames on his head. There was not a fire extinguisher in sight and after hiring Mastagni Holstedt, the employee learned that he was entitled to seek compensation and lifetime medical treatment for his burns, peripheral neuropathy, epidermic integumental disability and secondary PTSD.

First, readers should know there can be significant irreversible neurological damage as a result of burns beyond scarring and skin erythema. Second, mental impairment may be compensable if the employee’s mental impairment manifests from a violent act (see Labor Code section 4660.1(c)(2)(A).) Third, mental impairment is generally not compensable if it is secondary to an orthopedic injury, for example if someone gets depressed from a non-violent industrial injury. Fourth, it is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to establish a new and higher threshold of compensability for psychiatric injury expressly set forth in Labor Code section 3208.3(c). Last, just because Cal/OSHA violations may have occurred, increased benefits under the serious and willful statute found under Labor Code section 4553.1 are difficult to prove and therefore you should seek a free 30-minute consultation with our workers’ compensation attorneys to best determine how to proceed with your claim of injury, burn and/or PTSD. When you have a serious injury, let Mastagni Holstedt represent you because a burn can be so much more than just a burn. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. Have a nice day.

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