Trial Notebook: Drug Addiction (Workers Compensation)

O.C.G.A. § 34-9-1 states the alcoholism or disabilities attributed thereto shall not be deemed to be injury or personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment. Drug addiction or disabilities resulting there from shall not be deemed to be "injury" or "personal injury" by an accident arising out of the course of employment except when such addiction was caused by the use of drugs or medicines prescribed for the treatment of the initial injury by an authorized physician.

In this case, the claimant had pre-existing drug problems for prior accidents. The evidence was clear and undisputed that the claimant was using the drugs to which the ALJ found him addicted as early as 1980. Since the drug use was not caused by the use of drugs or medicines prescribed for treatment but simply aggravated that use, the case was deemed by the Court of Appeals to not be compensable. See Fulmer Brothers Inc., v. Kersey, 190 Ga. App. 573, 379 S.E.2d 607 (1989).

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