On May 27, 2021, the Kansas Workers Compensation Appeals Board (the Board) ruled, in Talavera v. Bob’s Super Saver, Inc., that an administrative law judge did not err in finding that an injured worker’s exposure to COVID-19 from a physical therapist providing medical treatment for a previous work-related injury—and subsequent contraction of COVID-19—was work related and compensable under the Workers Compensation Act.
In its finding that the claimant’s contraction of COVID-19 as a result of WC medical treatment was work related and compensable, the Board noted that exposure to COVID-19 during the course of medical treatment was analogous to a new injury resulting from medical malpractice. The Board reasoned that if not for the medical treatment required by the previous work-related accident, the claimant would not have been exposed to the injury, disease, or infection related to the treatment.
The Board added that, generally, injuries suffered from the effects of authorized medical treatment are compensable in Kansas and disability resulting from medical treatment for compensable injuries is also compensable. The Board also relied on a state supreme court decision, Roberts v. Krupka, that injuries that are the direct and natural result of a primary, compensable, work-related injury, should be compensable as well.
This decision could be appealed. NCCI will monitor for further developments.
For more information on other cases monitored by NCCI’s Legal Division, visit previous Court Case Updates and
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