Session of 1999
By Committee on Ways and Means

  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

SB 353


  1       medical evidence to a reasonable probability, that such emphysema was
  2       caused, solely and independently of all other causes, by the employment
  3       with the employer against whom the claim is made, except that, if it is
  4       proved to a reasonable medical probability that an existing emphysema
  5       was aggravated and contributed to by the employment with the employer
  6       against whom the claim is made, compensation shall be payable for the
  7       resulting condition of the workman employee, but only to the extent such
  8       condition was so contributed to and aggravated by the employment.
  9             (c) In no case shall an employer be liable for compensation under
10       this section unless disablement results within one (1) year or death results
11       within three (3) years in case of silicosis, or one (1) year in case of any
12       other occupational disease, after the last injurious exposure to the hazard
13       of such disease in such employment, or, in case of death, unless death
14       follows continuous disability from such disease, commencing within the
15       period above limited, for which compensation has been paid or awarded
16       or timely claim made as provided in the workmen's workers compensation
17       act, and results within seven (7) years after such last exposure. Where
18       payments have been made on account of any disablement from which
19       death shall thereafter result such payments shall be deducted from the
20       amount of liability provided by law in case of death. The time limit pre-
21       scribed by this section shall not apply in the case of an employee whose
22       disablement or death is due to occupational exposure to ionizing radiation.
23             (d) Where an occupational disease is aggravated by any disease or
24       infirmity, not itself compensable, or where disability or death a medical
25       condition arising from any other cause, not itself compensable, is aggra-
26       vated, prolonged, accelerated or in any wise way contributed to by an
27       occupational disease, the compensation payable shall be reduced and lim-
28       ited to such proportion only of the compensation that would be payable
29       if the occupational disease were the sole cause of the disability or death,
30       as such occupational disease, as a causative factor, bears to all the causes
31       of such disability or death, such reduction in compensation to be effected
32       by reducing the number of weekly or monthly payments or the amounts
33       of such payments, as under the circumstances of the particular case may
34       be for the best interest of the claimant or claimants only to the extent it
35       may be proved by clear and convincing medical evidence to a reasonable
36       probability that the claimed occupational disease aggravated or contrib-
37       uted to the previously existing occupational disease or other noncom-
38       pensable medical condition.
39             (e) No compensation for death from an occupational disease shall be
40       payable to any person whose relationship to the deceased employee or
41       workman arose subsequent to the beginning of the first compensable
42       disability save only to afterborn children.
43             (f) The provisions of K.S.A. 44-570 shall apply in case of an occupa-

SB 353


  1       tional disease.
  2        Sec.  2. K.S.A. 44-5a01 is hereby repealed.
  3        Sec.  3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
  4       publication in the statute book.