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Workers' Compensation

Wyoming: Injury Claim From Flesh-Eating Bacterial Infection Not Barred by Special "Communicable Disease" Limitation

Where a Wyoming employee, after he had completed a shift, injured his knuckle when he struck it on a metal locker in the employee locker room, and the small cut on his finger subsequently became infected with Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus (Strep A)--more commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria--requiring hospitalization and aggressive treatment for more than a month to control the bacteria, the claim was not barred by the “illness or communicable disease” exclusion set forth in Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 27-14-102(a)(xi)(A) (LexisNexis 2019). The Court stressed that the Office of Administrative Hearings had improperly identified the employee's "injury." The injury was not the contraction of the flesh-eating bacterial disease. It was the original knuckle injury. The employee had sufficiently shown his original injury occurred in connection with his work. The bacterial was a consequential condition that developed as a result.

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 In re Worker’s Comp. Claim of Vinson, 2020 WY 126, 2020 Wyo. LEXIS 146 (Sept. 28, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, §§ 10.02, 51.04.

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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