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Pain Relief Cited as Reason for Worker Overdose

A New York worker died after suffering an accidental overdose of medication taken to deal with the pain of a work-related accident and now the New York Workers Compensation Board has decided the overdose accident can be compensable.

The worker was taking the prescription drugs oxycodone and hydrocodone for a work-related back injury. At the same time, he had prescribed Xanax. The worker died suddenly and his son filed for death benefits. Neighbors of the worker reported he complained about the pain stemming from his work-related injury and had scheduled a visit to the doctor.

The Workers Compensation Board agreed medication was a contributing factor to his death and the cause for death was listed on the man’s death certificate as cardiac arrhythmia. During the autopsy, the forensic pathologist confirmed the three medications caused the workers death. He also said the oxycodone was injected into the arm of the worker so the concentration level of the drug in the body was much higher. The Workers Compensation Board also ruled that the method for the worker taking the medication was not relevant.

The move by the Worker’s Compensation Board has made it possible for accidental overdoses by injured workers to be compensated for their death.

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