Bank Worker Who Witnessed Murder Entitled to Worker's Comp

April 2, 2010 ( – An Ohio appellate court has ruled that a bank employee is eligible for workers compensation benefits for psychological injuries resulting from witnessing a police officer being shot to death.

Business Insurance reports that Ohio’s Court of Appeals’ 10th Appellate District agreed with a trial court that the case “was controlled” by a 2001 Ohio Supreme Court decision in Leonard J. Bailey vs. Republic Engineered Steels Inc. et al., in which the high court held that “a psychiatric injury suffered by a claimant that arose as a result of a compensable injury or occupational disease or occupational injury suffered by a third party is a compensable injury.” Bailey involved a “tow motor” operator seeking workers comp benefits for depression after running over and killing a co-worker.   

The appellate court said it did not see a factual distinction that would allow it to avoid the same finding, according to the news report.  

In the current case, Fifth Third Bancorp argued that Deborah K. Rader was not entitled to workers comp benefits under Ohio law because she did not suffer a physical injury during the 2005 incident in which the police officer was killed.  

The case is Deborah K. Rader vs. Fifth Third Bancorp and Marsha P. Ryan, administrator, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.