In Maine, similar to Iowa, one must prove that a heart attack occurred in the course of employment AND arose out of the employment in order to qualify for workers' compensation benefits. Gregory Sullwold worked as a portfolio manager for the Salvation Army and worked out of his home office in Brunswick, Maine. While in his home office, Mr. Sullwold was running on a treadmill and simultaneously watching financial markets on his TV and checking work email when he suffered a fatal heart attack. His wife filed a petition for workers' compensation death benefits and the Supreme Judicial Court in Maine granted the award of benefits. The court affirmed the ruling of the hearing officer, finding that it was proper to conclude that Mr. Sullwold's heart attack occurred while he was working at a home office approved by his employer. Not only that, the hearing officer properly found that Mr. Sullwold was under tremendous stress due to managing a $2 billion portfolio for his employer. Perhaps another essential fact is that Mr. Sullwold previously suffered a heart attack and requested help to manage his thick workload, but was denied any help.
It is often difficult to prove that a heart attack is sufficiently work-related to enable an employee to receive workers' compensation benefits, but it would be reasonable to believe that this case would have received a similar result in Iowa. If you have suffered a heart attack at work, call us today so that we may help evaluate your potential claim.