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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”






44-5a01. Occupational diseases; treated as injuries by accident under workers' compensation act; defined; limitations of liability; aggravations.

(a) Where the employer and employee or worker are subject by law or election to the provisions of the workers' compensation act, the disablement or death of an employee or worker resulting from an occupational disease as defined in this section shall be treated as the happening of an injury by accident, and the employee or worker or, in case of death, his or her dependents shall be entitled to compensation for such disablement or death resulting from an occupational disease, in accordance with the provisions of the workers' compensation act as in cases of injuries by accident which are compensable thereunder, except as specifically provided otherwise for occupational diseases.


(b) 'Occupational disease' shall mean only a disease arising out of and in the course of the employment resulting from the nature of the employment in which the employee was engaged under such employer, and which was actually contracted while so engaged. 'Nature of the employment' shall mean, for purposes of this section, that to the occupation, trade or employment in which the employee was engaged, there are attached particular and peculiar hazards of such disease which distinguishes the employment from other occupations and employments, and which creates a hazard of such disease which is in excess of the hazard of such disease in general. The disease must appear to have had its origin in a special risk of such disease connected with the particular type of employment and to have resulted from that source as a reasonable consequence of the risk. Ordinary diseases of life and conditions to which the general public is or may be exposed to outside of the particular employment, and hazards of diseases and conditions attending employment in general, shall not be compensable as occupational diseases: Provided, that compensation shall not be payable for pulmonary emphysema or other types of emphysema unless it is proved, by clear and convincing medical evidence to a reasonable probability, that such emphysema was caused, solely and independently of all other causes, by the employment with the employer against whom the claim is made, except that, if it is proved to a reasonable medical probability that an existing emphysema was aggravated and contributed to by the employment with the employer against whom the claim is made, compensation shall be payable for the resulting condition of the worker, but only to the extent such condition was so contributed to and aggravated by the employment.

(c) In no case shall an employer be liable for compensation under this section unless disablement results within 1 year or death results within 3 years in case of silicosis, or 1 year in case of any other occupational disease, after the last injurious exposure to the hazard of such disease in such employment, or, in case of death, unless death follows continuous disability from such disease, commencing within the period above limited, for which compensation has been paid or awarded or timely claim made as provided in the workers' compensation act, and results within seven 7 years after such last exposure. Where payments have been made on account of any disablement from which death shall thereafter result such payments shall be deducted from the amount of liability provided by law in case of death. The time limit prescribed by this section shall not apply in the case of an employee whose disablement or death is due to occupational exposure to ionizing radiation.


(d) Where an occupational disease is aggravated by any disease or infirmity, not itself compensable, or where disability or death from any other cause, not itself compensable, is aggravated, prolonged, accelerated or in any way contributed to by an occupational disease, the compensation payable shall be reduced and limited to such proportion only if the compensation that would be payable if the occupational disease were the sole cause of the disability or death, as such occupational disease, as a causative factor, bears to all the causes of such disability or death, such reduction in compensation to be effected by reducing the number of weekly or monthly payments or the amounts of such payments, as under the circumstances of the particular case may be for the best interest of the claimant or claimants.

(e) No compensation for death from an occupational disease shall be payable to any person whose relationship to the deceased employee or worker arose subsequent to the beginning of the first compensable disability save only to after born children.

(f) The provisions of K.S.A. 44-570, as amended, shall apply in case of an occupational disease.