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Work conditions cited in foundry worker's stroke

Anyone who suffers injury at work is entitled to compensation for the suffering they've endured. That's the whole reason employers in Maryland and throughout the country are required to carry workers' compensation insurance.

Getting the full extent of protection isn't always easy. Even in cases where the circumstances of a work injury are clear cut, insurance companies look to get by with paying the least amount possible. An experienced attorney is often the best resource an injured Maryland worker can turn to in order to be sure the maximum benefit is obtained. This can be even more important in cases where the circumstances of the injury aren't so cut and dried.

The case of a foundry worker in Pennsylvania provides an example. According to legal documents in the case, the 50-year-old laborer had worked at the foundry on and off for years. In his last position, he was working in what's called the "hot room" overseeing an automatic pouring machine when he suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on his left side. This was in May 2010. He filed for workers' compensation and a judge recently found in his favor.

During testimony in the case, the worker said he was wearing a lot of protective clothing and that it was about 100 degrees in the area. He was sweating profusely just ahead of the stroke. Testimony from the company challenged that description. Officials said the temperature was closer to 70 and defense experts suggested the worker's high blood pressure was to blame for the stroke. But the plaintiff's provided evidence that his condition was under treatment with medication.

The judge's decision for the worker is considered notable for a couple of reasons. As the claimant's own attorney noted, the incidence of strokes happening at work are rare to start with. He said proving that the stroke was the result of work is even more uncommon.

The ruling is subject to appeal, and the company says it has already filed one. If the determination is upheld, the worker will about $718 a week, possibly for the rest of his life. Medical costs associated with his stroke treatment will also be compensated.

Source: The Morning Call, "Victaulic foundry employee wins workers' comp for on-the-job stroke," Peter Hall, Feb. 20, 2012

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