Session of 1999
By Committee on Federal and State Affairs

  9             AN  ACT concerning the workers compensation act; relating to occupa-
10             tional diseases; amending K.S.A. 44-5a01 and repealing the existing
11             section.
13       Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
14             Section  1. K.S.A. 44-5a01 is hereby amended to read as follows: 44-
15       5a01. (a) Where the employer and employee or workman are subject by
16       law or election to the provisions of the workmen's workers compensation
17       act, the disablement or death of an employee or workman resulting from
18       an occupational disease as defined in this section shall be treated as the
19       happening of an injury by accident, and the employee or workman or, in
20       case of death, his the employee's dependents shall be entitled to com-
21       pensation for such disablement or death resulting from an occupational
22       disease, in accordance with the provisions of the workmen's workers com-
23       pensation act as in cases of injuries by accident which are compensable
24       thereunder, except as specifically provided otherwise for occupational
25       diseases.
26             (b) "Occupational disease" shall mean only a disease arising out of
27       and in the course of the employment resulting from the nature of the
28       employment in which the employee was engaged under such employer,
29       and which was actually contracted while so engaged. "Nature of the em-
30       ployment" shall mean, for purposes of this section, that to the occupation,
31       trade or employment in which the employee was engaged, there is at-
32       tached a particular and peculiar hazard of such disease which distin-
33       guishes the employment from other occupations and employments, and
34       which creates a hazard of such disease which is in excess of the hazard
35       of such disease in general. The disease must appear to have had its origin
36       in a special risk of such disease connected with the particular type of
37       employment and to have resulted from that source as a reasonable con-
38       sequence of the risk. Ordinary diseases of life and conditions to which
39       the general public is or may be exposed to outside of the particular em-
40       ployment, and hazards of diseases and conditions attending employment
41       in general, shall not be compensable as occupational diseases: Provided,
42       That. Compensation shall not be payable for pulmonary emphysema or
43       other types of emphysema unless it is proved, by clear and convincing
44       medical evidence to a reasonable probability, that such emphysema was
45       caused, solely and independently of all other causes, by the employment
46       with the employer against whom the claim is made, except that, if it is
47       proved to a reasonable medical probability that an existing emphysema
48       chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including, but not limited to,
49       asthma, bronchitis and emphysema or other types of emphysema, unless
50       it is proved by clear and convincing medical evidence to a reasonable
51       probability that such chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was caused,
52       solely and independently of all other causes, by the employment with the
53       employer against whom the claim is made, except that if it is proved to a
54       reasonable medical probability that an existing chronic obstructive pul-
55       monary disease was aggravated and contributed to by the employment
56       with the employer against whom the claim is made, compensation shall
57       be payable for the resulting condition of the workman employee, but only
58       to the extent such condition was so contributed to and aggravated by the
59       employment.
60             (c) In no case shall an employer be liable for compensation under
61       this section unless disablement results within one (1) year or death results
62       within three (3) years in case of silicosis, or one (1) year in case of any
63       other occupational disease, after the last injurious exposure to the hazard
64       of such disease in such employment, or, in case of death, unless death
65       follows continuous disability from such disease, commencing within the
66       period above limited, for which compensation has been paid or awarded
67       or timely claim made as provided in the workmen's workers compensation
68       act, and results within seven (7) years after such last exposure. Where
69       payments have been made on account of any disablement from which
70       death shall thereafter result such payments shall be deducted from the
71       amount of liability provided by law in case of death. The time limit pre-
72       scribed by this section shall not apply in the case of an employee whose
73       disablement or death is due to occupational exposure to ionizing radiation.
74             (d) Where an occupational disease is aggravated by any disease or
75       infirmity, not itself compensable, or where disability or death from any
76       other cause, not itself compensable, is aggravated, prolonged, accelerated
77       or in any wise contributed to by an occupational disease, the compensa-
78       tion payable shall be reduced and limited to such proportion only of the
79       compensation that would be payable if the occupational disease were the
80       sole cause of the disability or death, as such occupational disease, as a
81       causative factor, bears to all the causes of such disability or death, such
82       reduction in compensation to be effected by reducing the number of
83       weekly or monthly payments or the amounts of such payments, as under
84       the circumstances of the particular case may be for the best interest of
85       the claimant or claimants.
86             (e) No compensation for death from an occupational disease shall be
87       payable to any person whose relationship to the deceased employee or
88       workman arose subsequent to the beginning of the first compensable
89       disability save only to afterborn children.
90             (f) The provisions of K.S.A. 44-570 shall apply in case of an occupa-
91       tional disease. 
92       Sec.  2. K.S.A. 44-5a01 is hereby repealed.
93        Sec.  3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
94       publication in the statute book.