Kentucky State Police v. McCray, No. 2013-CA-000857-WC (Ky..App. 2013):  PTSD is compensible only if it results from a physically traumatic event to the claimant, and resultant physical manifestations of the stressful event such as high blood pressure or a racing heartbeat do not constitute a causal, physically traumatic event.

On September 25, 2009, McCray, a state trooper, was called to investigate a domestic disturbance.  When he arrived, he confronted a man who he believed was armed, and was forced to shoot the man in self-defense. He suffered no physical injuries during the event.The ALJ deemed the claim for PTSD to not be compensable because the PTSD did not directly result from a physically traumatic event.  The Workers’ Compensation Board reversed, reasoning that McCray’s testimony that he suffered high blood pressure following the event could constitute evidence that he sustained a physical injury.  The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Kubajak v. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, 180 S.W.3d 454 (Ky. 2005) was on point and compelled a finding that the claimant was not entitled to benefits because his PTSD was not caused by a physical injury.  They further held that resultant physical manifestations (i.e. the high blood pressure or racing heartbeat) did not constitute a causal, physically traumatic event.

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