Injured Worker Complies with Drug Test, Shows no “Intent” to Refuse
The Court of Appeals of the State of Kansas has ruled in favor of compensation for an injured worker, following William Phalen’s relentless pursuit of the claimant’s rights. A foundry worker was injured on the job when he was struck on the arm while grinding a piece of metal. He was treated at a local emergency room where testing was done and a blood sample was taken.
Following his release from the hospital, an in-house nurse from his employer picked him up as he was attempting to walk back to his job site. He was asked to submit to a urine drug test and complied. After providing a sample the injured worker left. The nurse threw out the sample, claiming it was inadequate, before it was ever tested.
Despite initial erroneous rulings by the ALJ and the Appeals Board that the injured worker “refused” the test and in turn forfeited his rights to compensation, William Phalen pursued the matter to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals correctly interprets K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 44-501(b)(1)(E) when they state in their decision:
An insufficient urine sample, without evidence of an intent to thwart the purpose of a drug test, is not a refusal to submit to drug testing as used in the Workers Compensation Act.
The Board’s decision to deny the claimant compensation under the Kansas work comp statutes was reversed and the matter has been remanded back to the ALJ for a determination of benefits. William Phalen’s unyielding commitment to justice for injured workers has resulted in another win for our client!