Workers' Compensation

New York: Exposure to Potato Chip Seasoning Caused Employee’s Pulmonary Condition

A New York appellate court recently affirmed a finding by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board that awarded benefits to a worker who claimed he suffered from an occupational disease or condition in the form of chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis, caused by 12 years of work-related exposure to chemicals and seasonings at the employer’s plant that produced corn, potato and grain-based snacks.  The appellate court held that claimant was required to establish a recognizable link between his condition and a distinctive feature of his occupation through the submission of competent medical evidence, that the Board specifically credited the medical evidence from claimant's physician, who testified with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the "most probable cause" of claimant's condition was his prolonged workplace exposure to chemicals and seasonings, and that claimant's failure to identify the specific allergen or contaminant responsible for his ailments was not fatal to the underlying claim.

Reported by Thomas A. Robinson, J.D.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Matter of Sandell v Frito Lay, Inc., 2013 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8501 (Dec. 26, 2013) [2013 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8501 (Dec. 26, 2013)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 52.01 [52.01]

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



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