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  • Court Awards Worker’s Compensation for Sitting at Desk Too Long

    Renner v. AT&T, 2011 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1668 (App.Div. June 27, 2011).

    In James P. Renner vs. AT&T, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, upheld a worker’s compensation judge’s decision awarding benefits to a husband after his wife died from blood clots from sitting for long periods of time as part of her job.

    The Plaintiff’s wife was a salaried manager at AT&T for twenty-five years.  Ms. Renner’s “nine to five” job required her to work additional hours to meet various deadlines imposed by AT&T, including working through the night before her death.  According to the Plaintiff’s expert, the blood clots developed because Ms. Renner sat at her desk for extended periods of time, and not because of Ms. Renner’s other risk factors, which included obesity and use of birth control pills.

    A workers’ compensation judge agreed with the Plaintiff’s expert, and determined that although Ms. Renner lived an “active life,” her job required her to “spend unusually long hours at her computer.”  Moreover, because her “work inactivity was greater than her nonwork inactivity” the claim was compensable.

    AT&T appealed, but the Appellate Division affirmed the administrative judge’s decision holding that “substantial, credible evidence exists to support the conclusion of the workers’ compensation judge that [Ms. Renner]‘s inactivity caused stasis of the blood resulting in the formation of a blood clot.”

    A special thanks to Sean Gajewski for helping with this post.  Sean is a third-year law student at Hofstra University School of Law.  You can reach him by email at srgajewski [at] gmail dot com.  Bio: www.sgajewski.com.