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Rush v. University of Virginia Health System

Court of Appeals of Virginia

March 31, 2015

JAMES RUSH
v.
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA HEALTH SYSTEM/COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

FROM THE VIRGINIA WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION.

Affirmed.

Bradford M. Young (George L. Townsend; Hammond Townsend, PLC, on briefs), for appellant.

Adam L. Katz, Assistant Attorney General (Mark R. Herring, Attorney General; Rhodes B. Ritenour, Deputy Attorney General; Peter R. Messitt, Senior Assistant Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.

Present: Chief Judge Huff, Judges Petty and McCullough.

OPINION

Page 718

[64 Va.App. 553] STEPHEN R. McCULLOUGH, JUDGE

James Rush sustained a head injury while working at the University of Virginia Hospital. He has no memory of the circumstances of the accident that led to his injury. He challenges the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission's decision to deny his claim for benefits. Specifically, he argues that the commission erred in several respects: (1) in its construction of Code § 65.2-105; (2) in finding that appellant did not prove that his injury arose out of his employment; and (3) in failing to address whether his injury occurred in the course of his employment. We affirm the decision of the commission.

BACKGROUND

Rush worked as a patient care technician for the hospital at the University of Virginia Health System. His daily uniform included surgical scrubs, head gear, a mask, and shoe covers. His responsibilities included placing equipment and supplies in operating rooms. He also helped with other tasks, such as retrieving blood for surgeries. Occasionally, Rush's schedule allowed him some downtime. He spent this time in an unused room, preparing for the next case or learning, through computer training, how to use new equipment.

On July 23, 2011, a housekeeper noticed that Rush was wandering around and that he had blood on his face. He " didn't look right." Rush looked " dazed," and he smelled of urine and feces. Hospital personnel later located him in a restroom. Rush had a " golf ball-sized knot on his head right above his eye," his head was swollen, and he was unable to stand. Rush was conscious and responsive but confused.

[64 Va.App. 554] Although hospital staff attempted to determine what happened to Rush, they were unable to do so. They established that Rush fell in one of the operating rooms. The precise cause of the fall, however, remains unknown. Hospital staff found blood smeared on one of the computer desks in this operating room, as well as vomit and a small amount of blood on the floor. They found Rush's badge on the floor along with some pens. One of the chairs in the room was overturned. Rush was never able to recall the circumstances of his accident. He remembered using his ID to enter a room and later walking toward the door. He did not

Page 719

remember falling or having a seizure. Nobody else was present in ...


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