Tuesday, February 05, 2008, 4:59 PM

COA Holds That Damaged Breast Implant Draws Workers' Comp Benefits

Today in Richardson v. Maxim Healthcare/Allegis Group, a workers' comp case, the Court of Appeals held that damage to a breast implant is a compensable injury. The employee in today's case was in a car accident on the job, and it caused her breast implant to rupture. Under the Workers' Compensation Act, injury includes "breakage or damage to eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures, or other prosthetic devices which function as part of the body.” N.C.G.S. § 97-2(6). On this issue of first impression, the Court concluded "that breast implants satisfy the statutory requirement as a compensable prosthetic device that functions as part of the body." However, the Court held that plaintiff is entitled to compensation for damage to only one breast implant, not both, and this prompted a dissent from Judge Wynn, who would've affirmed the Industrial Commission's ruling awarding plaintiff compensation for both. Here's an AP story about the case.

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