Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



firefighter presumptions, post-traumatic stress disorder, workers' compensation, quid pro quo, Grand Bargain, negligent infliction of emotional distress, occupational disease


This paper discusses the increased use of causation presumptions in workers' compensation cases involving firefighters and other first responders. It also considers increasing workers' compensation coverage of post traumatic stress disorder with respect to those same categories of workers. The paper discusses how workers' compensation coverage of certain conditions tends to parallel the growth of potential tort liability, observes that disease presumptions were a feature of early 20th century workers' compensation statutes (and so are not new), and argues that recognition of workers' compensation "mental-mental" claims has been consistent with "zone of danger" expansion of the negligent infliction of emotional distress cause of action.