WORKERS COMPENSATION – Worker splattered with blood doing IV is “traumatic event” per KRS 342.0011(1) for medical treatment: Kentucky Employers Safety Association v. Lexington Diagnostic Center, et al. (SC 5/21/2009)

Kentucky Employers Safety Association v. Lexington Diagnostic Center, et al.
2008-SC-000671-WC May 21, 2009
Opinion of the Court. All sitting; all concur.

Worker was splattered in the face with blood when flushing out a patient’s IV line. Consistent with the employer’s post-exposure protocol, the worker went to a required series of five doctor visits. The employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier refused to pay beyond the second visit, deciding that until such time as an objective medical finding showed the exposure had resulted in a harmful change to the worker, no injury had occurred. The Workers Compensation Board determined the insurer was liable for the payments and the ALJ and Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court also affirmed, holding that for the purposes of KRS 342.0011(1), being splattered with foreign blood or other potentially infectious material constitutes a “traumatic event.”

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