Another win for Kansas workers and William L. Phalen. Oral arguments were presented last month before the Kansas Workers Compensation Appeals Board in a case regarding the nature and extent of a Kansas worker’s disability and whether that worker should be awarded future medical care.
Following multiple evaluations, treatment and surgeries the injured Kansas worker was found to be at maximum medical improvement. K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 44-510h(e) outlines the presumption that employer’s obligation to provide medical care terminates upon the employee reaching maximum medical improvement. It also states that this presumption may be overcome with medical evidence that it is more probably true than not that additional medical treatment will be necessary after such time as the employee reaches maximum medical improvement. William Phalen secured the expert medical testimony of Dr. Prostic that ongoing medical treatment will be necessary for this worker. The ALJ felt Dr. Prostic’s findings determined the claimant’s need for future medical treatment and overcame the statutory presumption. This was despite the treating physician’s opinion that no further care would be necessary.
The Administrative Law Judge’s Award was affirmed by the Appeals Board.