Kansas Supreme Court Considers Workers Compensation Law

The Kansas Supreme Court waded into the fray over obscure medical guidelines that will determine how much money workers injured on the job can collect.

Justices heard legal arguments over which edition of the American Medical Association guide should be used for evaluating injuries in determining compensation to injured workers in Kansas.

Critics argue that the Sixth Edition of the AMA guide adopted by the Legislature unfairly limits compensation to injured workers, reducing compensation by as much as 40 to 70 percent for work-related injuries.

Supporters of it contend it better reflects technical advancements by replacing the outdated medical guidelines.

The state Supreme Court took up the case after the Kansas Court of Appeals ruled in 2018 that the Legislature went too far with its adoption of the Sixth Edition of the AMA guide, which significantly reduced permanent disability compensation.

The lower court found that edition unconstitutional, because it no longer provided due process for injured workers.

It struck its use from the state’s Workers Compensation Act.

That decision was appealed to the state’s highest court.