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Workers Compensation Warning: The Dangers of Sitting at Your Desk

Cathleen Renner, a 25-year veteran of AT&T, died in 2007 from a blood clot that formed in her leg and made its way to her lungs.  Renner’s husband filed a workers’ compensation claim, alleging that his wife’s fatal blood clot originated from long hours of overnight work sitting at her desk. Last year, a New Jersey appellate court upheld Renner’s eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. They found that the presence of other risk factors for blood clots, including Renner’s obesity and use of birth control, did not prevent her spouse from seeking relief under workers’ compensation.

There are two important points to note here: (1) the very real danger of blood clots, which can form after long hours sitting at a desk job, and (2) workplace injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation payments are very wide ranging and do not only include the typical example of a worker struck by a falling brick at a construction site.

Blood clots are one of the most common causes of death next to heart disease and cancer. Sitting at a desk for intensely long periods can cause them. Thousands of people die each year in the United States from blood clots, which can form in the legs, break away and then go to the lungs or brain, choking off blood supply.

Prevention is crucial in fighting against blood clots.  Many Americans work long hours sitting at desks, and the sad story of Cathleen Renner should remind us of the importance of taking frequent short breaks to stand up and walk around. Ms. Renner’s case also demonstrates that workers’ compensation is not limited to obvious workplace accidents, but can include a wide range of illnesses or injuries sustained because of work.

If you need advice regarding your right to receive workers’ comp benefits, contact us as soon as possible so we may help you. We will explain your rights and your options and represent your interests during the process. There is no charge for consultation. No attorney’s fee is paid for our representing you unless we obtain benefits for you. Also, any attorney’s fee must be approved by the workers’ compensation judge.

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