A federal court in Kansas ruled on Tuesday that the parents of a worker who died of conditions related to his opioid use in connection with workplace injury, chronic pain and subsequent depression could not sue an employee compensation or a third party. administrator over allegations that they neglected to delay the approval for medical care.
The man in 2017 suffered several disc herniations in the neck, which led to radiating pain in the limbs in his work for the animal feed company Big Heart Pet Brands Inc., which provided non-surgical "conservative treatment" for his injury according to its employees' insurance plan, according to documents i Civil Action No. 21
As part of the treatment, a doctor issued a valuation assessment and considered that further treatment was necessary. Due to pain, the man suffered from "mental problems", of which both the employer and its co-insurer Indemnity Insurance Co. in North America became aware of, according to documents.
After months of care, including prescription of the opioid Oxycodone, work restrictions that included light duties and possible surgery, the man, who "had difficulty working due to severe pain" was found "unresponsive" at the end of December 2018, less than a month before his scheduled surgery. He was transported to a hospital where he died two days later. His death certificate states "probable acute opiate poisoning as the cause of death and referred to positive test results for opiates, amphetamines and alcohol", it says in documents.
His parents sued the employer, insurer and TPA Gallagher Bassett Services Inc. 2020, claiming that after their son suffered a workplace injury "the defendants delayed or denied medical treatment, caused pain and suffering and eventually his death" and "Claims of negligence, negligence per se and bad faith refuse to approve medical treatment in good time."
A federal district court judge granted the defendant contradictions to dismiss and wrote in part that the Kansas Act does not "recognize evil" and that "(even) the Kansas Act allowed an injured worker to sue an employee's compensation insurance company based on the implied agreement on good faith and fair trade, the plaintiffs have not specified any claim as to which exemption may be granted. ”
The judge wrote that for parents to" go over the allegation of breach of good faith and fair trade, plaintiffs "must" bring an action for breach of contract. , not a separate action for breach of good faith, and.