An appeals court in New York ruled on Thursday that a flight attendant from Delta Airlines Inc. contracted an occupational disease related to the chemicals in her issued uniform.
The flight attendant filed a workers' compensation claim in 2019 after her doctor became suspicious that her skin, breathing and other physical problems were linked to the work uniform she had begun wearing in 2018, according to documents in Matter of Valdez v Delta Airlines, Inc., which was submitted to the Court of Appeals of the New York Supreme Court, Albany.
Medical evidence and hearing testimony led to a judge of the Work Compensation Act issuing a decision that the flight attendant had suffered an occupational injury and upheld the claim for contact dermatitis, reactive respiratory disease and lymphadenopathy, according to documents. The Workers' Compensation Committee agreed.
On appeal, the State Court of Appeal upheld, citing case law, and wrote that the flight attendant established a recognizable link between her condition and "a feature" of her employment by submitting "competent medical evidence."
"As the carrier points out, the plaintiff is allergic to a chemical used in dyes and suffered from contact dermatitis before she started wearing the uniform, and there is no evidence that the chemical in question was in the uniform, the government says. ”However, the board credited the plaintiff's testimony that her symptoms worsened she started wearing the uniform and lightened up a bit when she switched to an alternative uniform in medical care. ”