A flight attendant sustained sudden, permanent loss of hearing as a result of change in cabin pressure that occurred during ascent of an aircraft. The insurer denied the claim on grounds that it was a gradual, cumulative injury resulting from repetitive trauma and therefore, not covered under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. The employer also asserted alternatively that the claim was barred by the flight attendant’s willful misconduct because she flew with a cold. The employer’s defenses were defeated. Wage loss and medical benefits were awarded.
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