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100 Sled Dogs Killed: Man Gets Workers' Comp

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on February 02, 2011 11:46 AM

Man kills 100 sled dogs. And files for workers' compensation. Yes, you read that right.

An employee of a British Columbia's Outdoors Adventures, a company that offers sled dog tours, has filed a workers' compensation claim stemming from the post-traumatic stress disorder caused by having to kill 100 sled dogs in two days.

Despite having killed dogs previously (for euthanasia purposes only), the man was not mentally prepared for the task at hand. After a veterinarian refused to euthanize the dogs, the employee began his task, choosing to kill the dogs in their kennel, where, according to the Toronto Sun, the dogs panicked and had to be killed with both gun and knife. Covered in blood, he then buried the 100 sled dogs in a mass grave, further notes The Vancouver Sun.

Five days after witnessing the gruesome sight of 100 sled dogs killed, The Vancouver Sun reports that the employee sought medical attention, citing panic attacks, nightmares and depression, amongst other ailments.

While it's unlikely that the average person will ever suffer from post-traumatic stress caused by witnessing sled dogs killed on the job, this story does prompt an interesting question: What, if any, workers' compensation claims exist for mental injuries related to employment?

Though each state differs on what is required for a successful claim, generally speaking, workers' compensation laws cover mental injuries caused or increased by the job. Oftentimes, work-related stress, impairment caused by on-the-job harassment, or stress relating to a specific incident is covered by workers' comp laws. However, in order to be compensated, you must be able to demonstrate that it is a direct result of the job.

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