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It’s now up to the lower court to determine whether or not the town of Tonawanda New York will have to pay workers’ compensation insurance benefits for a police officer who was prescribed medicinal marijuana for his chronic back pain he has suffered since he slipped on icy pavement at the scene of a car accident. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Supreme Court of New York, appellate division, ruled to remand an earlier decision that denied coverage of an injured police officer’s medical marijuana for chronic pain that he suffers after a car accident.

In 1997, a New York police officer sustained work-related injuries while at the scene of a car accident when he slipped on icy pavement and fell, suffering injuries to his lower back and right hip. He put in a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and was ultimately classified with a permanent partial disability. In August 2017, the officer’s treating physician filed a form to request authorization to treat chronic pain with medical marijuana. The workers’ compensation carrier denied the request. The claimant filed a form seeking a review of the denial of the request. A Workers’ Compensation Law Judge considered the submission of additional medical evidence and approved the request for causally-related medical marijuana treatment. The decision was reversed when the Workers’ Compensation Board found that it could not approve a variance for treatment that had already been rendered. The claimant filed an appeal.

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Hannah Smith


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