The Appellate Group

JBS Carriers v. Labor Commission

JBS Carriers v. Labor Commission, 2021 UT App 44 (Harris, J.)

Workers Compensation

Over the course of a 3-day drive, a commercial truck driver developed a blood clot in his left leg, which separated and moved to his lungs. He was required to take three 3 months off from work to recover. He was awarded workers’ compensation benefits. JBS Carriers appealed, arguing the driver could not prove causation under the heightened standard in Allen v. Industrial Commission, 729 P.2d 15 (Utah 1986), because Hickey had a preexisting condition—super obesity and a history of blood clots. The Utah Court of Appeals remanded, holding:

  • The driver cannot satisfy the heightened Allen standard for legal causation that applies where an employee’s preexisting condition contributes to the injury. This standard requires workers to show that the work required an exertion greater than that undertaken in normal, everyday life.
  • The court determined that the Commission erred in making certain findings and remanded for the Commission to either adopt or reject the ALJ’s threshold determination that Hickey suffered from a preexisting condition where he had previously suffered a similar blood clot and where his “super obesity” made him 6–10 times likelier to develop a blood clot.

Read the full court opinion