Does Bubba have a claim for benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act?

Date: February 10, 2015

Bubba was employed as a foreman on a gas drilling rig in the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale field. Bubba had been suffering from diabetes for a number of years. Most of the time, Bubba was able to keep his blood sugar levels under control. But there were times when Bubba was not able to do so. One day while working, the temperatures were below freezing. Despite the cold weather, Bubba was sweating profusely. Bubba began to feel light-headed and then he passed out. The next thing that Bubba knew, he was waking up in a hospital bed with a nasty bump on his head and a broken left wrist. At the hospital, the doctors determined that Bubba’s blood sugar level had dropped too low thus causing him to pass out. Bubba had skipped lunch that day because he was so busy on his project.

ISSUE:          Does Bubba have a claim for benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act?

ANSWER:     Yes. Even though the reason that Bubba passed out and fell may have had nothing to do with the work he performed, the injuries that Bubba incurred once he hit the ground would be considered “work-related”. Thus any disability or lost time from work that Bubba incurs because of his injury to his head and broken wrist would be compensable. Likewise, the treatment that Stan receives in the hospital for his physical injuries would be the responsibility of the Workers’ Compensation carrier for his employer. The treatment that Bubba received for his diabetic condition would not be covered under the workers compensation policy.

If you’ve suffered a work injury and have questions about your claim, contact me at 570-347-1011 or email:

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.