Lane Co, Inc. v. Saunders

326 S.E.2d 702 (1985)

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Lane Co, Inc. v. Saunders

Virginia Supreme Court
326 S.E.2d 702 (1985)

Facts

Hammie Saunders (plaintiff) was employed by Lane Co., Inc. (defendant) as a band-saw operator. On June 7, 1983, Saunders was assigned to work on a tennon machine, which involved repetitive bending and twisting, unlike his regular work. Saunders’s back became sore. The following day, Saunders advised his supervisor of back pain and was sent to the staff nurse. Saunders could not pinpoint how exactly the injury happened. Saunders was initially treated by a physician for sciatic nerve pain, but the treatment did not work. Saunders then saw a neurosurgeon and was diagnosed with a herniated intervertebral disc, which was removed surgically. Saunders filed a claim for workers’ compensation. Lane Co. defended against the claim, arguing that no industrial accident had occurred. The deputy commissioner found that Saunders had proved an industrial accident and awarded workers’-compensation benefits. The Industrial Commission affirmed the award based on the unusual nature of Saunders’s June 7 work, the contemporaneous onset of pain, and medical opinion on causal relationship. The Industrial Commission found that because Saunders had no known history of back pain, he did not have to identify a specific incident that caused his injury. Lane Co. appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Russell, J.)

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