Kansas's Board of Appeal argued that a worker's compensation for compensation six years after an accident is not blocked because his employer paid for him to see a doctor for his ongoing pain and thereby revive the law of limitations on his claim.
In Schneider v City of Lawrence on Friday, the Appellate Court turned and remanded a Labor Compensation Board's decision that the firefighter's complications of back operation were not replaceable since they were submitted six and eight years after the workplace injuries that led to his back pain.
Paul Schneider worked for the Lawrence, Kansas fire department, and injured his back twice, once on September 21
On January 28, 2016, he submitted two applications for hearing and claimed that he sustained both low and full body injuries from the two work accidents. The city held that his preferential applications were unclear.
Mr. Schneider testified that his back pain became progressively worse after his injury in 2010 and explained that it was difficult for him to work in 2015 and he started discussing surgery with his personal doctor. Although his personal health insurance paid for his doctor's appointment, he denied his request for surgery in the back on the grounds that it originates from work injuries. He then contacted the city, which sent him to his doctor on December 14, 2015 and was paid for a later appointment in January 2016. The doctor concluded that the 2008 and 2010 accidents were the cause of Schneider's continued back pain. 19659002] The city claimed that since Schneider could not submit an application for benefits within three years of the accident or within two years after the city's last payment, his claims must be rejected. Schneider, however, claimed that his doctor's appointments in 2015 and early 2016 – paid by the city – were remuneration and therefore revived the Charter of Restrictions.
An administrative judge for the city and the board confirmed. Mr Schneider appealed.
The appeal court reversed the decision. The court noted that, according to Kansas, if an employer has never paid compensation, the law on restrictions begins from the employee's accident date. However, if any employer has paid compensation to the employee, the restriction provision begins to run from the employer 's last compensation.
The court found that the board and administrative court condemned "apparently injection of ambiguity" into the statutes, stating that the judge's interpretation of this charter "could only invoke confusion".
The Appeal Court found that the statue's language was clear and unambiguous and that an employee's time to file a hearing request can be revived on an employer's payment of compensation after the limit has expired.
Since Schneider received compensation in December 2015 and January 2016 because of the doctor's appointments, the Court found that his applications under the revived two-year charter of restrictions were current.
Therefore, the court was reversed and canceled the case.
Lawrence City could not be reached for comment.