Simms v. State of Delaware, IAB Hearing No. 1340237 (March 22, 2010)
Claimant filed a Petition to Determine Compensation Due alleging that she aggravated a pre-existing back condition when she fainted and fell in the bathroom while working as a custodian for the Appoquinimink School District. Claimant testified that the bathroom was very hot, due to a lack of air conditioning, and she was constipated and in a great deal of pain. She started sweating profusely while using the toilet. When she walked to the sink to splash her face with water, she fainted and fell. There was conflicting evidence regarding the temperature of the bathroom and the circumstances surrounding Claimant's fall.
Dr. Swaminathan testified on behalf of Claimant that the syncopal episode was due to the heat. Dr. Fink testified that Claimant had defecation syncope, which caused her blood pressure to drop while straining to have the bowel movement and the fainting incident had no causal relationship to the workplace. The Board accepted Dr. Fink's testimony over Dr. Swaminathan's opinion and held that Claimant did not meet her burden of proving a compensable injury. The Board concluded that fall was caused by an unrelated medical condition, not related to or triggered by her employment.