Close v. Superior Excavating Co

In Close v. Superior Excavating Co., 166 Vt. 318, 693 A.2d 729, 731 (Vt. 1997), the claimant sustained a severe head injury in an industrial accident. 693 A.2d at 730. The claimant required 24-hour attendant care as a result of the accident, which left him subject to seizures, disorientation, and memory loss. Id. The claimant's wife provided full-time care to him at their home. Id. The wife's duties were assigned to her by the claimant's physicians and included administering and monitoring his medications, changing the doses of his medication, maintaining a log of the claimant's behaviors, and assisting the claimant during seizures. Id. The claimant sought compensation for the care rendered by his wife. Id. The Vermont Supreme Court held that the wife's services were compensable. Id. at 732. Of particular significance to the court was the fact that the claimant's physicians regarded the duties performed by the wife as those which would typically be rendered by a nurse. Id. at 731-32. Moreover, given the claimant's seizure activity, he required attendant care 24 hours a day. Id. at 731.