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Workers' Compensation

Arkansas: Positive Drug Test Dooms Worker’s Injury Claim

Construing the state’s strong presumption that where a worker tests positive for drugs after a workplace injury, his or her injury was “substantially occasioned” by the use of the illegal drugs [see Ark. Code Ann. § 11-9-102(4)(B)(iv)(a)], an Arkansas appellate court affirmed the denial of benefits to a worker whose right thumb and index finger were crushed in an industrial accident and he subsequently tested positive for marijuana. The court acknowledged the worker’s testimony that he had not used marijuana on the day of the accident and acknowledged further the testimony of a team leader that the worker did not appear “wobbly” or intoxicated prior to the accident. It noted that there was evidence the worker tried to avoid the drug test when he reached the hospital and there was no question but that he had tested positive. That was sufficient to support the Commission’s decision.

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 Allen v. Employbridge Holding Co., 2020 Ark. App. LEXIS 129 (Feb. 19, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 36.03.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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