Pennsylvania Nurse Due Partial Benefits Because of Allergy to Hospital Floor Wax

Where a registered nurse suffered multiple allergic attacks caused by exposure to a chemical component of a floor wax product used by the hospital employing her, she was entitled to ongoing partial disability benefits in spite of the fact that she had no further signs or symptoms of respiratory disease, held a Pennsylvania appellate court in Little v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd. (Select Specialty Hosp.), 2015 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 121 (Mar. 25, 2015). 

The court noted that the medical experts agreed that the nurse’s cumulative exposure to the chemical in the floor wax directly caused her to develop asthma and on ongoing sensitivity to the chemical itself, which prevented her from returning to her pre-injury job. Regardless of whether the nurse lacked current pulmonary symptoms or did not need current treatment, she had residual medical conditions that she did not have prior to her employment with the hospital. While she subsequently took a part-time job—at lower pay—at a second employer, she could not return to her former employment. She was, therefore, entitled to additional benefits.

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