TOPEKA –– The Kansas Supreme Court yesterday agreed to review a decision by the Court of Appeals that overturned a 2013 state law on workers compensation, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.
Although the state was not a party to the original case, the attorney general intervened in the case in August for the purpose of filing a petition for the Kansas Supreme Court to review the case. The Supreme Court yesterday granted that petition. The defendant in the case, U.S. Food Service, also petitioned the Kansas Supreme Court to review the case, and its petition was also granted by the court yesterday.
In 2013, the Kansas Legislature amended the Kansas Workers Compensation Act to require use of the Sixth Edition of the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment to rate the impairment of injuries sustained after January 1, 2015. Last year, the Kansas Court of Appeals struck down that law as unconstitutional, requiring that the Fourth Edition of the AMA Guides, which was in place under the law prior to the 2013 change, be used going forward. The attorney general argued that it was within the prerogative of the Legislature and Governor to amend the law to adopt the newer edition of the evaluation guides based upon medical advancements that have occurred since the Fourth Edition was written in 1993.
Further briefing in the case is anticipated. Oral arguments have not yet been scheduled. The case is Johnson v. U.S. Food Service et al.