The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled this week that an amendment passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2006 puts the onus on employees to prove workplace injuries were caused by work conditions and not their existing medical conditions.
The unanimous decision affirmed the intent of the Legislature to shift the burden of proof to workers. Prior to the amendment, the Indiana Supreme Court had ruled that in cases when it wasn’t apparent whether a worker was injured due to job or personal conditions, businesses were obligated to show that injuries were not caused by the work environment.
The case was brought by a woman who was denied workers compensation benefits after falling and injuring her head while at work.
The woman was found unconscious by co-workers and couldn’t remember how she fell. Doctors were not able to determine whether a medical condition caused her to lose consciousness or if she slipped and fell.