NEWS / Legal News - December 2022

PTSD - Juntunen v. Carlton County

The employee worked as a police officer and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) on August 20, 2019. There is a statute which states that first responders diagnosed with PTSD are entitled to a rebuttable presumption that the PTSD is work-related.

The employer and insurer denied primary liability pending an independent medical examination (“IME”). The IME was completed on July 20, 2020, and stated that the employee was not suffering from PTSD at the time of the exam or any time in the 30 days prior.

A Compensation Judge ultimately ruled that the IME was more persuasive than the employee’s doctor and found that the presumption did not apply and denied the claim.

The employee appealed, and the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals (“WCCA”) reversed, holding that the presumption applied as soon as the employee was given a PTSD diagnosis.

The Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed the WCCA. It held the presumption applies as soon as a diagnosis is given. In this case the employer and insurer failed to rebut that presumption because the IME only commented on PTSD for the 3 months prior to the exam and the employee’s doctor’s opinion that he had PTSD prior to that time was unopposed.


It is important to have any expert comment on PTSD from the date of the diagnosis. If the expert cannot comment on PTSD before the date of the exam the employer and insurer will have to admit liability for that period (especially if the presumption applies).

Read Full Decision