LANGUAGE

Johannesen v. NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development

An office assistant sought workers’ compensation benefits for her asthmatic episodes, including two asthma attacks which required her to be rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment. The court upheld the finding of the Workers’ Compensation Board that the employee’s aggravated asthma, which was caused by prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke in her confined workplace, constituted an “accidental injury” under workers’ compensation law. The court found that cigarette smoke is not a natural byproduct of the work at her office and the secondhand smoke exposure qualified as an “unusual hazard.”