Workers' Compensation

Kansas: Supreme Court Draws Strong Distinction Between “Idiopathic” and “Unknown”

Quoting Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the Supreme Court of Kansas reiterated that “idiopathic” and “unknown” do not have the same meaning; the use of the former in Kan. Stat. Ann. § 44-508(f)(3)(A)(iv)(2018) means that claims are disqualified where the accident or injury arose directly or indirectly from idiopathic causes that are peculiar to the injured individual, not where the circumstances surround the alleged accidental injury are merely unknown.Accordingly, where a worker fell down a workplace stairway, had no recollection of falling and there were no witnesses, it was error for the Board to conclude that the fall was due to “idiopathic causes.” That the cause of unknown did not make it idiopathic.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Estate of Graber v. Dillon Cos., 2019 Kan. LEXIS 67 (Apr. 12, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 4.01.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see