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AG Derek Schmidt asks Kansas Supreme Court to review workers compensation case

Release Date: Sep 04, 2018

TOPEKA – (September 4, 2018) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today asked the Kansas Supreme Court to review a decision by the Court of Appeals that overturned a 2013 state law on workers compensation.

Although the state was not a party to the original case, the Kansas Supreme Court last week granted the attorney general’s motion to intervene in the case for the purposes of filing a petition for the Kansas Supreme Court to review the case.

In 2013, the Kansas Legislature amended the Kansas Workers Compensation Act to require use of the Sixth Edition of the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment to rate the impairment of injuries sustained after January 1, 2015. Last month, the Kansas Court of Appeals struck down that law as unconstitutional, requiring that the Fourth Edition of the AMA Guides, which was in place under the law prior to the 2013 change, be used going forward.

The attorney general’s petition for the Kansas Supreme Court to review the case argues that it was within the prerogative of the Legislature and Governor to amend the law to adopt the newer edition of the evaluation guides based upon medical advancement that have occurred since the Fourth Edition was written in 1993.

“[T]he Legislature listened to the debate, found the proponents of the Sixth Edition more persuasive, and reasonably concluded based on the testimony that the Sixth Edition should be adopted,” the brief states. “The Court of Appeals should not have second-guessed the Legislature’s resolution of this issue.”

The case is Johnson v. U.S. Food Service et al. A copy of the state’s petition is available at http://bit.ly/2oHv3U8.

 

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