Marcus v. Arlington County Bd. of Supervisors

In Marcus v. Arlington County Bd. of Supervisors, 15 Va. App. 544, 425 S.E.2d 525 (1993), an emergency communications technician supervisor developed "traumatic stress reaction with physical manifestations." Her duties as an emergency communications technician supervisor included the dispatch of police, fire and ambulance units and counseling subordinate personnel to help them deal with the stress of their duties. Finding that traumatic stress reaction "is the same kind of reaction that occurs in a setting outside of the employment," the commission held that Marcus' condition was an ordinary disease of life. Affirming, the Court said: Physical reactions to stress, such as those experienced by Marcus, are suffered by much of the population and are caused by a variety of factors. Indeed, the commission found that the symptoms Marcus experienced were caused not only by her job, but also by events outside of her employment -- events to which the general public is exposed outside of the employment -- . . . . We find that this conclusion is supported by credible evidence in the record and, accordingly, we will not disturb the commission's finding on appeal. See Knott v. Blue Bell, Inc., 7 Va. App. 335, 338, 373 S.E.2d 481, 483 (1988) ("the question whether a condition or disease is an ordinary disease of life is essentially a medical issue to be decided by the trier of fact based on the evidence presented"). Marcus, 15 Va. App. at 550, 425 S.E.2d at 529.