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Artiste v. Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Ctr.

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Third Department

July 18, 1996, Decided ; July 18, 1996, Entered

75202

Opinion

 [*82]  [**594]   White, J.

Claimant, while working as a nurse's aide in a long-term nursing home/hospital, was accidentally stuck in the right hand on March 30, 1989 by a needle that a registered nurse had just used to inject insulin into an elderly diabetic patient, a procedure that does not involve the drawing of blood. Claimant began feeling ill within a week or two of this incident, and was found to be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (hereinafter HIV) in July 1989. Subsequent testing and diagnosis revealed that claimant was suffering from AIDS [***2]  and is permanently totally disabled. Claimant filed an employee's claim for compensation dated February 8, 1990, relating her illness to the March 1989 accidental puncture.

Following a hearing, the Workers' Compensation Law Judge (hereinafter WCLJ) established the case for accident, notice and causal relationship. A panel of the Workers' Compensation Board affirmed the WCLJ's decision, finding that "claimant contracted her AIDS condition as a result of the punctured wound to her right hand when she was stuck by the needle on 3/30/89". Upon request of the employer's workers' compensation carrier, the full Board rescinded the decision and referred the matter back to the Board panel for further consideration. Ultimately, the Board panel modified the former decisions by determining that "claimant contracted AIDS during the course of [her] employment as a health care professional and that this  [*83]  constitutes an occupational disease within the meaning of [the Workers' Compensation Law]". 1 

 [***3]  ]

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221 A.D.2d 81 *; 645 N.Y.S.2d 593 **; 1996 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 7813 ***

In the Matter of the Claim of Carolyn Artiste, Respondent, v. Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center et al., Appellants. Workers' Compensation Board, Respondent.

Prior History:  [***1]   Appeal from a decision of the Workers' Compensation Board, filed January 19, 1995, which ruled that claimant suffered from an occupational disease and awarded workers' compensation benefits.

Disposition: The decision is reversed, with costs, and claim dismissed.

CORE TERMS

claimant, patient, workers' compensation, occupational disease, occupation, infected, needle, stuck, aide, contracted, nursing home, accidentally, insulin, inject, blood, urine, generally recognized, registered nurse, blood products, sexual contact, right hand, transmitted, diabetes, exposure, puncture, disease, exposed, attend, hazard, nurses

Business & Corporate Compliance, Workers' Compensation & SSDI, Compensability, Occupational Diseases, Workers' Compensation & SSDI, Injuries, General Overview