A miner who contracted carnivorous bacteria after scraping his knuckle on a cabinet after work is entitled to workers' compensation for the month-long treatment he received for the virus, the Wyoming Supreme Court held Monday.
In Question on Workers' Compensation Claims by Vinson v. Vinson the Court unanimously held that the State Office of Administrative Hearing erred in holding that the miner's illness was not compensable due to state statutes "illness or contagious Disease.
Michael Vinson worked as a miner in a throne mine owned by Tata Chemicals Soda Ash Partners Ltd. After a shift, he showered in the employee's locker room and changed into clean clothes that he made after each shift and accidentally scratched his knuckles. a cupboard that causes the knee of his right index finger to bleed briefly.At the end of the next day he noticed that his right hand was swollen and red and he developed chills.The next morning his wife found his arm swollen up to his elbow and took him to the emergency room.He was flown by air ambulance to a Salt Lake City hospital and diagnosed with carnivorous bacteria. the hospital that underwent aggressive antibiotic treatment.
He applied for workers 'compensation to the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Workers' Compensation Division, which found that his injury could be compensated. Tata objected and appealed to the Administrative Hearing Office, arguing that his injuries were not compensable under Wyoming's work-related injuries that preclude "illness or contagious disease."
OAH agreed and claimed that while Mr. the bone scraper resulted in his infection, the exclusion was applied. Mr Vinson appealed and a district court rejected the OAH's decision, claiming that "the infection was a compensable consequence of the original work-related scratch injury" and ruled that the exclusion "disease or contagious disease" did not apply because his illness was not similar to a common illness usually excluded. as a cold or flu.
Tata appealed again, but Wyoming's Supreme Court upheld the district court's decision, claiming that Mr. Vinson's damage was compensable. Although Tata argued that Mr Vinson did not have to take a shower and that the trade union agreement considered taking an unpaid shower, the court found that the "simple fact" that he was not on the day was "not decisive for whether his working conditions" contributed to the injury. The court also noted that a medical expert considered that his infection was related to the injury and that the bacteria were probably already colonized on Mr. Vinson's skin when scape occurred and served as a "portal of entry" into his body. As there was no reasonable dispute that Vinson's infection was a "contagious disease", the court found that OAH's decision to exclude it was "arbitrary and capricious" and confirmed the district court's benefits to Vinson.