Mediation and Judicial Services

Mediation is a means of resolving disputes in an informal and non-adversarial atmosphere. The issues that can be mediated are not restricted to medical or temporary total disability benefits.

The parties to a dispute use a neutral third party to facilitate discussion. The mediator assists the parties in identifying the issues in dispute and establishing common goals. The mediator has no decision-making authority or interest in the outcome of the dispute.  Mediation allows the parties to negotiate a resolution to their disputes and to avoid the expenses and uncertainty of litigating their disputes in court.  

Who are the mediators?

The mediators are employees of the Division of Workers Compensation who have received special training in the mediation process. These mediators meet or exceed the requirements established by Kansas law and the Kansas Supreme Court. Mediators receive training in conflict resolution techniques, neutrality, agreement writing, ethics, role playing, communication skills, case evaluation and the laws governing mediation.

How does mediation work?

Mediation is not mandatory or a prerequisite to a hearing but can be utilized at any point during the workers compensation process. Without full participation and good faith intentions by the parties, success through the mediation process is limited.

The mediation conference begins with the parties in a joint session. The parties are introduced and the rules of mediation are explained. Workers Compensation mediation conferences are conducted pursuant to the Dispute Resolution Act, K.S.A. 5-501, and amendments thereto.

To begin the mediation conference, the mediator gives one party the opportunity to speak without any interruptions. The other party is shown the same courtesy.

Upon completion of this initial phase, the parties, with the assistance of the mediator, will begin identifying issues and exploring all possible options to resolve their dispute. At times, the parties may be separated by the mediator or by the request of either party to discuss their respective case. This technique is known as caucusing. Although caucusing is not used in every mediation conference, it is available to all the parties. The purpose of caucusing is to gather or share additional information which the party may be reluctant to express in front of the other party, or perhaps to discuss possible resolution options. Mediation works only if the parties are willing to participate and discuss the issues in good faith.

What happens if no agreement is reached?

Mediation does not promise to resolve all disputes, but it does provide a forum for sincere and meaningful discussion on the issues. If no agreement is reached, only that fact is made part of the docket file. Thus, neither party is prejudiced in later hearings.

What happens if an agreement is reached?

If an agreement is reached, the mediator will put the agreement in writing. Thereafter, the agreement may be forwarded to an administrative law judge (ALJ) for approval. If so, upon approval by the ALJ, the agreement will have the same force and effect as an agreed order or award.

What does mediation cost?

The Division of Workers Compensation promotes and encourages mediation in workers compensation cases by offering professional mediation free of charge.

Professional mediators elsewhere charge an hourly fee that can be in excess of $100, depending on the complexity of the dispute.

With nothing to lose and much to gain, mediation through the Division of Workers Compensation is a cost-effective way of resolving disputes within the workers compensation system.

For additional information or to request or schedule a mediation conference, please contact the Public Resource Section: Mediation Unit at (785) 296-4000 (option 2) or (800) 332-0353 (option 2).

If a worker and employer have a disagreement about Workers Compensation benefits, the division's Judicial unit provides a forum for promptly resolving the issue.

The division has 10 Administrative Law Judges throughout the state whose primary function is resolving disputes in contested workers compensation claims by conducting prehearing conferences, encouraging settlements and conducting hearings to resolve issues the parties cannot resolve on their own.  If a hearing is held, an ALJ issues an order or award based on the facts and Kansas workers compensation law. For an initial, temporary, determination of benefits, preliminary hearings are set on a priority basis, and preliminary decisions are issued within five business days of the completion of the hearing, excluding weekends and holidays.   

Note: OSCAR registration is required for any records requests or filings in the Workers Compensation system.

To set a hearing before an administrative law judge, the worker or employer must file an application for hearing with the division. Special administrative law judges conduct settlement hearings for the division.  If the worker or employer wants to set a preliminary hearing, the worker or employer must follow the procedure for filing an application for preliminary hearing. If the worker or employer has a dispute concerning additional medical treatment after a final award granting future medical treatment has been issued, the party must follow the procedure for filing an application for post-award medical treatment.  If the worker or employer has a dispute concerning whether additional compensation is payable after a final award allowing review and modification has been issued, the party must follow the procedure for filing an application for review and modification. Parties that are represented by an attorney should contact their attorney to dicuss whether a hearing on their workers compensation claim is necessary. 

Disputes over Workers Compensation benefits can also be resolved by mediation. The division has certified mediators who will, free of charge, help an injured worker and employer reach an agreement on contested issues. You can learn more about mediation in the section above. 

Regional Administrative Law Judges Offices

Administrative Law Judge - Garden City

Pamela Fuller

Legal Assistant: Mary Richardson
mary.richardson@ks.gov

407 Campus Dr
Garden City, KS 67846-6124

  Administrative Law Judges - Topeka

Steven Roth

Legal Assistant: Marissa Wagenaar, 
marissa.wagenaar@ks.gov

401 SW Topeka Blvd
Topeka, KS 66603

David Bogdan

Legal Assistant: Sheryl Hesser
sheryl.hesser@ks.gov

401 SW Topeka Blvd
Topeka, KS 66603

Administrative Law Judges - Lenexa

Julie Sample
julie.sample@ks.gov

Legal Assistant: Veronica Cooper
veronica.cooper@ks.gov

11900 W 87th St Pkwy, Suite 200
Lenexa, KS 66215

Troy Larson
troy.larson@ks.gov

Legal Assistant: Mindy Bradbury
mindy.bradbury@ks.gov

11900 W 87th St Pkwy, Suite 200
Lenexa, KS 66215

Ken Hursh
ken.hursh@ks.gov

Legal Assistant: Jane Hogan
jane.hogan@ks.gov

11900 W 87th St Pkwy, Suite 200
Lenexa, KS 66215

Administrative Law Judges - Wichita

Ali Marchant

Legal Assistant: Kathy Caire
kathy.caire@ks.gov

266 N Main St, Suite 100
Wichita, KS 67202-1514

Tom Klein

Legal Assistant: Christina Taylor

christina.d.taylor@ks.gov

266 N Main St, Suite 100
Wichita, KS 67202-1514

Gary Jones

Legal Assistant: Sandi Peck
sandi.peck@ks.gov

266 N Main St, Suite 100
Wichita, KS 67202-1514

Administrative Law Judge - Salina

Bruce Moore
bruce.moore@ks.gov

Legal Assistant: Parma Barnhill
parma.barnhill@ks.gov

901 Westchester Dr, Suite B
Salina, KS 67401-7418

The Board was established in 1993 to decide appeals of orders and awards from the workers compensation administrative law judges. Hoping to obtain more uniform decisions throughout the state, the Legislature created the Board to replace the state's district court judges in the appeal process. By statute the Appeals Board’s authority to review preliminary orders is limited to issues of compensability.

The Appeals Board reviews decisions of Administrative Law Judges on a de novo basis, based on the Kansas Workers Compensation Act, administrative regulations, and current caselaw. Review is on the record. All five Board members decide final orders, awards and modifications of final awards. Review of preliminary hearing orders are decided by a single Board member.

The Board has the authority to:

  • Grant or deny compensation
  • Increase or diminish any award of compensation
  • Remand any matter to the administrative law judge for further proceedings

Decisions from the Board are due within 30 days from the date arguments are presented.

For questions about the Appeals Board, please contact kdol.wcboard@ks.gov.

Current Board Members (effective January 1, 2021)

  • Rebecca Sanders (Chair)
  • John F. Carpinelli
  • Seth G. Valerius
  • William G. Belden
  • Chris A. Clements

Procedure

Filing Requirements: A request for review must be filed in OSCAR within 10 days (excluding weekends and holidays) from the effective date of the Administrative Law Judge's decision. Each party not represented by legal counsel who files by fax shall retain the original document in the party's possession or control during the pendency of the action and shall produce this document upon request by the division, administrative law judge, workers compensation board, or any party to the action. Upon failure to produce the document, the fax may be stricken, and the party may be subject to sanctions under K.S.A. 44-5,120(d)(20), and amendments thereto. The Appeals Board will send the parties a notice confirming the filing of the application for review and establishing the parties’ deadlines for the filing of briefs.  The Appeals Board limits its review to the evidence presented to the Administrative Law Judge, and will not receive additional evidence on review.

Note: An appellant is an applicant to a higher court for a reversal of the decision of a lower court, while an appellee is a responder in a case appealed to a higher court.

Appeal of Awards or Modifications of Awards: The appellant's brief is due 30 days from the date the application is filed and the appellee's brief is due 20 days from the date of the appellant's brief. The appellant may submit a reply brief within 10 days responding only to new issues raised in the appellee’s brief.  

At the time the briefing schedule is established and a hearing date scheduled, the case will be reviewed and a decision will be made on whether oral argument is necessary. If the Board finds oral argument is not necessary, the case will be placed on the summary docket for decision without oral argument, and the parties will be notified accordingly.  

Appeal of Final Orders, Post Award Medical and Preliminary Orders: The appellant's brief is due 10 days from the date the application is filed and appellee's brief is due 10 days later. The day following the last brief, the case is deemed submitted to the Board for decision. Again, the parties must provide five copies of each pleading filed. Appeals of post-award medical and preliminary orders are placed on the summary docket without oral argument.

Appeals to the Court of Appeals and Certification of Record: Any final order of the Board may be appealed to the Court of Appeals. Once the Board issues its order, the administrative file is returned to the Director. The Director's office is responsible for certifying the record for cases being appealed to the Court of Appeals. If a party intends to appeal a final order of the Board to the Court of Appeals they must request the Director certify the record.

Appeals Decisions are available on Westlaw. As a convenience to our customers, this page contains links to Appeals Board Decisions added to the Workers Compensation website up to the last three months.

A number sign (or pound, hash or # symbol) after the docket number denotes an “old law” decision that is based on the statutes that were in effect prior to May 15th, 2011, or in other words, that apply to a claim for an injury that occurred prior to May 15, 2011.

Soon you will also be able search for a decision by typing keywords into the box below. Keywords can be topics such as preexisting, citations such as 44-501, names of one or more of the parties to a claim, docket numbers, or any other desired set of alphanumerical characters (such as letters of the alphabet and numbers).

Note: If you have difficulty opening the file, the Board Decisions are saved in a PDF format for improved accessibility and search capabilities. You will need a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader (available free at adobe.com) to open or print the files. If you have difficulty in opening any of the decision files, you may need to update your version of the reader. If after updating your reader you continue to have difficulties, please contact the Workers Compensation Division for support.

 

June 2022

Case Name

Order Date

Issue

Holding

Joyce Delatorre v. Reser’s Fine Foods    CS-00-0069-797 > AP-00-0463-4006/29/2022Injury by repetitive trauma, prevailing factor, nature and extent of disability, unauthorized and future medical treatmentThe ALJ found proved a repetitive use injury to her left hamstring, but failed prove a work-related injury to her back.  The ALJ no evidence of permanent impairment.  The Board agreed with the ALJ, finding claimant suffered hamstring injury, which had resolved.  The Board denied compensation for the low back claim, which did not arise until after claimant no longer worked for respondent.  The Board affirmed the ALJ on the issues of injury by repetitive trauma, prevailing factor, nature and extent of disability and future medical.  The Board awarded unauthorized medical, as it was not included in the Award.  
Vedrene Elias v. Mosaic Coffeyville - CS-00-0463-630 > AP-00-0464-9306/28/2022Did Claimant sustain a personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of her employment?The Board determined Claimant’s inability to testify consistently on the most basic facts of her accidental injury, led to the conclusion Claimant’s left foot injury did not arise out and in the course of her employment.  Claimant’s request for workers compensation benefits was denied.  
Dijana Ponjavic v. Kerry, Inc., CS-00-0097-907 > AP-00-0463-2146/28/20221. Is the work accident the prevailing factor for the injury, medical condition, need for treatment and the resulting disability? 2. What is the nature and extent of Claimant's disability? 3. Is Claimant entitled to future medical benefits? The ALJ denied all benefits finding Claimant failed to prove her accident was the prevailing factor in causing her medical condition, need for treatment and resulting impairment.  The Board reversed the ALJ's Award and remanded it back to the ALJ with instructions to make findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding nature and extent of disability and future medical benefits.
EagleMed v. Travelers  CS-00-0410-870 >  AP-00-0427-4586/21/2022Medical Fee Schedule: Usual and Customary charges for air ambulance service.This case was remanded to the Board from the Supreme Court with directions to make a factual finding, supported by substantial competent evidence in light of the record as a whole, of usual and customary charges that reflects both Airline Deregulation Act and the statutory purposes for our workers compensation fee schedule.   The Board remanded the case to the Hearing Officer. The parties are directed to submit evidence of usual and customary charges for the services at issue.  The Hearing Officer is directed to issue an order on remand containing the findings of fact and conclusions of law on whether the charges submitted by Healthcare Provider are permissible under the 2012 fee schedule and Airline Deregulation Act as usual and customary charges.
EagleMed v. Travelers  CS-00-0043-233  >  AP-00-0427-5896/21/2022Medical Fee Schedule: Usual and Customary charges for air ambulance service.This case was remanded to the Board from the Supreme Court with directions to make a factual finding, supported by substantial competent evidence in light of the record as a whole, of usual and customary charges that reflects both Airline Deregulation Act and the statutory purposes for our workers compensation fee schedule.   The Board remanded the case to the Hearing Officer. The parties are directed to submit evidence of usual and customary charges for the services at issue.  The Hearing Officer is directed to issue an order on remand containing the findings of fact and conclusions of law on whether the charges submitted by Healthcare Provider are permissible under the 2012 fee schedule and Airline Deregulation Act as usual and customary charges.
EagleMed v. Travelers  CS-00-0031-845 >  AP-00-0427-4706/21/2022Medical Fee Schedule: Usual and Customary charges for air ambulance service.This case was remanded to the Board from the Supreme Court with directions to make a factual finding, supported by substantial competent evidence in light of the record as a whole, of usual and customary charges that reflects both Airline Deregulation Act and the statutory purposes for our workers compensation fee schedule.   The Board remanded the case to the Hearing Officer. The parties are directed to submit evidence of usual and customary charges for the services at issue.  The Hearing Officer is directed to issue an order on remand containing the findings of fact and conclusions of law on whether the charges submitted by Healthcare Provider are permissible under the 2012 fee schedule and Airline Deregulation Act as usual and customary charges.
EagleMed v. Travelers   CS-00-0234-819 >  AP-00-0427-574 6/21/2022Medical Fee Schedule: Usual and Customary charges for air ambulance service.This case was remanded to the Board from the Supreme Court with directions to make a factual finding, supported by substantial competent evidence in light of the record as a whole, of usual and customary charges that reflects both Airline Deregulation Act and the statutory purposes for our workers compensation fee schedule.   The Board remanded the case to the Hearing Officer. The parties are directed to submit evidence of usual and customary charges for the services at issue.  The Hearing Officer is directed to issue an order on remand containing the findings of fact and conclusions of law on whether the charges submitted by Healthcare Provider are permissible under the 2012 fee schedule and Airline Deregulation Act as usual and customary charges.
Michael Letterman v. City of Chanute   CS-00-0457-402 > AP-00-0466-1446/14/20221. Did Claimant’s injury on May 10, 2019, arise out of and in the course of his employment? Specifically, did Claimant’s injury occur as the result of a normal activity of day-to-day living or a neutral risk with no particular employment character. 2. Is Claimant’s April 6, 2021, left shoulder injury the natural and probable consequence of his May 10, 2019 injury, and therefore, not compensable?Respondent appealed the ALJ's preliminary order finding Claimant's left knee injury arose out of and in the course of his employment. In so doing, the ALJ rejected Respondent's arguments that Claimant's injury was the result of a day-to-day activity or neutral risk without any particular employment or personal character and awarded benefits for Claimant's left knee.  Claimant argued the ALJ erred in the denial of a left shoulder injury finding it was not the natural & probable consequence of his original injury. A single Board Member rejected Claimant's arguments and affirmed the ALJ's denial of benefits for the left shoulder.
Michele Collins v. E. Medical Group of Kansas, Inc.      CS-00-0464-032 > AP-00-0464-9626/13/2022Did Claimant sustain personal injury from an accident arising out of and in the course of her employment?The preliminary decision of the ALJ concluding Claimant sustained personal injury from a motor vehicle accident arising out of and in the course of her employment was affirmed.  Claimant proved she sustained injuries from a motor vehicle accident occurring while Claimant was in Respondent's service as a traveling nurse.  Respondent did not prove the accident was caused by an idiopathic cause, a personal risk, or from a neutral cause with no particular employment or personal character.
Eric Rhodes v. Wildcat Concrete Services, Inc. -- CS-00-0444-243 > AP-00-0464-3516/9/2022Does the Board have jurisdiction to review an appeal filed from an Order on Motion to            Terminate Benefits?The Board dismissed this appeal because K.S.A. 44-534a does not grant jurisdiction to the Board to review an order on whether or not medical benefits are authorized.  Respondent attempted to contest compensability of a claim by filing a Motion To Terminate Medical Benefits instead of using the prescribed statutory method of a preliminary hearing application.  

 

 

May 2022

 

Case NameOrder DateIssueHolding
Chris Sigwing v. United Parcel Service  CS-00-0447-390 > AP-00-0464-5915/31/2022ALJ JurisdictionALJ reinstated TTD based upon medical report suggesting referral to a physical medicine specialist.  Respondent argued the ALJ exceeded his jurisdictional authority by awarding TTD after Claimant was placed at maximum medical improvement.  A Board Member found respondent failed to raise a jurisdictional issue pursuant to K.S.A. 44-534a.  Appeal dismissed.
Scott Suitter v. Johnsonville Sausage, LLC  CS-00-0457-142 > AP-00-0464-7695/31/2022Did the claimant forfeit his right to compensation by refusing to submit to a urinalysis?The claimant forfeited his rights to compensation due to refusal to submit to a urinalysis.
Jose Ayala v. Alpha Roofing, LLC -- CS-00-0459-273 > AP-00-0464-6015/26/20221. Is Claimant an independent contractor or an employee of Respondent?  2. What is Claimant’s average weekly wage (AWW)?  3. What is the prevailing factor causing Claimant’s injury, medical condition, and need for medical treatment?Respondent appealed the preliminary hearing order finding claimant to be an employee and not an independent contractor.  A single Board Member affirmed the ALJ’s finding claimant was an employee and not an independent contractor.  The Board Member also found the Board was without jurisdiction to review the other issues raised by Respondent-AWW, TTD, authorization of medical treatment and payment of medical bills.
Troy Russell v. Morton Salt Inc.  CS-00-0453-385  > AP-00-0463-8765/24/2022Compensability of motor vehicle accident on the way to unauthorized medical appointmentThe ALJ found Claimant’s injury compensable and ordered medical treatment based upon Taylor v. Centex Const. Co., 191 Kan. 130, 379 P.2d 217, 217 (1963).  A board member noted prior cases finding accidents occurring on the way to or from medical appointments compensable occurred while obtaining authorized medical treatment.  Taylor tied the employer’s liability to its statutory duty to furnish medical care and the employee’s duty to submit to reasonable medical treatment under the Act.   Board member reversed.
DeAnn Cambers v. Fort Scott Community College   CS-00-0445-377 >  AP-00-0462-506 5/23/2022Occupational Disease/Repetitive trauma arising out of The ALJ found Claimant failed to sustain her burden of proving she suffered a work-related occupational disease or injury of any kind while working for respondent and denied compensation. The Board agreed claimant failed to prove occupational disease or repetitive trauma from alleged exposure to mold.  A concurring opinion expanded the analysis on the repetitive trauma aspect.  
Kendall Turner v. Pleasant Acres, LLC -- CS-00-0058-238 > AP-00-0452-4495/18/2022The Kansas Court of Appeals remanded it December 16, 2020, Award to the Board for a determination of the amount of the Fund’s subrogation lien and credit against the workers compensation award under K.S.A. 44-504(b).Order on Remand from the Kansas Court of Appeals.  The Board remanded the case to the ALJ with instructions to receive evidence and make findings regarding a subrogation lien pursuant to K.S.A. 44-504.
James Morris v. Shilling Construction Co., Inc.  CS-00-0434-953 > AP-00-0450-8075/16/2022Should the case be remanded to the ALJ to address the claimant’s impairment of function under a Johnson analysis?  Should the case be remanded to the ALJ to address the claimant’s average weekly wage?Yes on both points.  The case was remanded to the ALJ to address the claimant’s impairment of function under a Johnson analysis.  The case was remanded to the ALJ to address the claimant’s average weekly wage?
Jesus Quinones v. GEM Transport, LLC   CS-00-0461-921 > AP-00-0464-5205/13/2022

1. Does the Appeals Board possess authority to consider the application for review under K.S.A. 44-534a?

2. Is Claimant barred from seeking benefits under K.S.A. 44-503c?  

3. Did the employment relationship exist between Claimant and Respondent?

The Board has authority to consider the employment issue under K.S.A. 44-534a because it is a “certain defense” pertaining to compensability.  Claimant was not barred from seeking compensation under K.S.A. 44-503c because he was not the owner of the vehicle.  A direct employment relationship did not exist because Respondent did not have the right to control how Claimant performed his work, and the majority of the factors from Hill did not indicate an employment relationship exist.  Dicta in the preliminary order stating a nonparty was the employer was vacated for due process grounds.
Derrick Onnen v. The Monarch Cement Co.  CS-00-0072-007 > AP-00-0463-7275/3/2022Does the Workers Compensation Appeals Board have jurisdiction over an order denying a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to K.S.A. 44-523(f)?A denial of a Motion to Dismiss was appealed to Workers Compensation Appeals Board. The Board held this not a final order and the Board does not have jurisdiction over the appeal.   
Richard Herrold v. First Group America, Inc.     CS-00-0432-877 > AP-00-0462-9265/2/2022Was Claimant entitled to an award of temporary total disability compensation?The Award issued by the ALJ granting, among other things, temporary total disability compensation was affirmed.  The record as a whole indicated Claimant was temporarily disabled because he had not reached maximum medical improvement, and Claimant was medically incapable of performing his normal employment.  The record also indicated Respondent did not prove one of the statutory defenses to paying temporary total disability compensation applied.
Alexis DeSoto v. Spirit Aerosystems, Inc.   CS-00-0457-569 > AP-00-0463-7625/2/2022Did Claimant sustain personal injury from a motor vehicle accident arising out of and in the course of her employment with Respondent?The preliminary order issued by the ALJ denying compensability was affirmed.  Claimant’s travel to a convenience store from a temporary out-of-state residence for a temporary job assignment outside working hours did not arise out of or in the course of employment.  In the alternative, if Claimant was on her way to pick up her coworkers when the accident occurred, it was part of her daily commute and barred under the going and coming rule.

 

April 2022

Case NameOrder DateIssueHolding
Ali Raza v. Autozone, Inc. – CS-00-0433-293 > AP-00-0464-1164/28/20221. Is colon polyp removal reasonably necessary to cure and relieve the effects of the claimant’s work injury?  2. May the Board hear respondent’s argument the claimant failed to prove the work accident was the prevailing factor giving rise to the need for colon polyp removal, given no such argument was made to the ALJ and the ALJ made no decision regarding prevailing factor?The ALJ’s Order was affirmed upon the finding that the claimant needs kidney replacement surgery due to his work-related accident.  The issue of prevailing factor was not addressed as it was not argued before the ALJ and no decision was made on the issue by the ALJ.
Gabriela Ornelas v. Penney Opco., LLC.   CS-00-0462-614   AP-00-0463-9854/25/2022Did Claimant sustain personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of her employment, including whether the accident was the prevailing factor in Claimant's current medical condition and need for treatment?A Single Board Member found Claimant failed to prove by a greater weight of the evidence her injury arose out of and in the course of her employment and her work-related injury on September 20, 2021, was the prevailing factor causing her injury, medical condition and need for treatment.  This reversed ALJ Hursh's Order finding Claimant's claim compensable.
Jarin Tabor v. City of Topeka     CS-00-0460-981  AP-00-0463-6954/15/2022Did Claimant sustain an occupational disease or repetitve injury arising out of and in the course of his employment?Claimant appealed the preliminary hearing Order denying his request for benefits.  The ALJ found Claimant failed in his burden to prove he suffered personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment by repetitive trauma or occupational disease.  Claimant was an urban watershed horticulturist which exposed him to various native grasses and wild flowers.   A single Board Member affirmed the ALJ's Order.
Rex Allen v. Action Tents, Inc.                                                               CS-00-0459-448                                                   AP-00-0463-3484/14/2022Did Claimant give proper notice of his injury by repetitive trauma to Respondent?A single Board Member affirmed the ALJ’s preliminary Order denying compensation.  Based on review of the record as a whole, Claimant failed to prove he gave notice he either sustained a work-related injury from repetitive trauma or was seeking workers compensation benefits until more than ten days from the last day actually worked.  Claimant’s prior complaints of pain, with no further specifics, did not constitute proper notice.
Martin Sanchez v. City of Dodge City                                                CS-00-0309-870                                         AP-00-0461-9484/12/2022Did Claimant sustain personal injury from an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment with Respondent?A majority of the Appeals Board affirmed the ALJ’s Award denying the claim, after concluding Claimant’s injuries were caused by an accident not arising out of and in the course of his employment.  Claimant was voluntarily lifting weights at a gym provided by Respondent over Claimant’s paid lunch break to prepare for a fitness test and for general fitness, but Claimant was not instructed to use the gym and Claimant’s employment would not be jeopardized if he failed the test.  The remaining issues were moot.  One Board Member dissented, because Claimant was preparing for a mandatory fitness test and Respondent benefitted from having physically fit patrol officers.
Marilyn Menefee v. Amazon.com.KSDC, LLC   CS-00-0005-779   AP-00-0462-0054/6/2022 1. Was proper notice given?                                  2. Is Claimant’s accident the prevailing factor for Claimant’s injuries, need for medical treatment and resulting disability and impairment? Proper notice was given in this case because Respondent had actual notice at the time of Claimant’s accident. Claimant’s accident was not the prevailing factor for Claimant’s injuries, need for medical treatment or resulting disability because it was too remote in time as to when Claimant sought medical treatment. Claimant did not seek medical treatment for her injuries until 7 months after the accident. Immediately after the accident Claimant continued to work without absences, restrictions or seeking medical treatment for 10 weeks.  Claimant sought medical treatment 10 weeks after the accident for a heart condition and not her injuries. 
Tammy Cline v. Spirit Aerosystems   CS-00-0128-103   AP-00-0462-6234/6/20221.  Did Claimant's cervical spine injury arise out of and in the course of her employment and was the work accident of September 26, 2017, the prevailing factor causing injury to Claimant's cervical spine and subsequent need for surgery?                             2.  What is the nature and extent of Claimant's disability?                           3.  Is Claimant entitled to future medical benefits?Claimant appeals her Award denying benefits for injuries sustained to her cervical spine.  Claimant was pinched between two tables & was found to have compensable claims to her low back & hips. Approximately six months following her injury, claimant received treatment, at her own expense, for cervical complaints and numbness/tingling in her upper extremities. The Board affirmed the ALJ's denial of benefits due to her cervical spine injuries.  Claimant failed to prove her cervical spine injuries arose out of and in the course of her employment and also the accidental injury was the prevailing factor causing her cervical spine injury and need for treatment.
Brenda Willming v. Atchison Hospital and KHA Workers Compensation Fund, Inc.      CS-00-0443-834; AP-00-0460-7334/1/2022                     1.  Should the attachments to Claimant's brief be considered part of the record?  2.  Did the Administrative Law Judge err in failing to rule on the objections raised during an expert's deposition? 3.  Was the Social Security offset provision of K.S.A. 44-501(f) applied in an unconstitutional manner? 4.  Nature and extent of disability, including extent of functional impairment, eligibility for work disability and permanent total disability.  5.  Should an offset for Social Security retirement be applied, and if so, the value of the offset, whether Social Security retirement not actually received should be imputed, and the effective date?  6.  Future medical.The Award issued by the ALJ was modified.  The attachments to Claimant’s brief were not considered part of the record.  The ALJ ruled on the objections raised during the deposition, and did not commit error.  The constitutional issue was reserved for the appellate courts.  Claimant was eligible to receive permanent partial disability compensation based on 9% of the body as a whole, followed by 57% work disability compensation, but her claim for permanent total disability compensation was denied.  The Social Security offset contained in the Award was modified to reflect sums Claimant actually received, and not sums imputed to Claimant, effective the date actually received.  The future medical award was affirmed.  

March 2022

Case NameOrder DateIssueHolding
Lisa Plumb v. Cal-Maine Foods, Inc.                                                    CS-00-0458-703                              AP-00-0463-2483/31/2022Did Claimant prove she suffered an injury arising out and in the course of Claimant’s employment?Claimant had a preexisting injury to her low back and her work injury was an aggravation or exacerbation of her preexisting injury.  Claimant was not awarded benefits.                                 
Mickey Saunders v. Three D Trucking                                                            CS-00-0444-365                                       AP-00-0461-6583/29/2022Independent ContractorThe ALJ found Claimant to be an independent contractor and denied benefits. Claimant appealed.  The Board found Respondent maintained the right to control almost every aspect of Claimant’s work activity. he weight of the evidence supported finding claimant an employee, rather than and independent contractor.  Reversed and Remanded.
John Foster v. Hiland Dairy Foods Co., LLC                                                CS-00-0458-875                                      AP-00-0462-8243/25/2022Did Claimant sustain personal injury from an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment with Respondent?The preliminary Order was affirmed.  Claimant proved he sustained personal injury from a fall arising out of and in the course of his employment with Respondent.  Respondent did not meet its burden of proving the fall was either the product of a personal risk or from a neutral risk with no particular employment or personal character.
Siniki Thomas v. Old Dominion Freight Lines                                                CS-00-0366-123                                               AP-00-0463-7263/24/2022Did the Board have jurisdiction to hear the respondent's appeal of the ALJ's order denying a motion to dismiss under K.S.A. 44-523(f)?The Board ruled it did not have jurisdiction to consider the respondent’s appeal of the ALJ’s interlocutory order denying the motion to dismiss.
Katherine Eaton v. Emporia U.S.D. No. 253                            CS-00-0434-415                                     AP-00-0462-5053/24/20221. Did the claimant prove a compensable traumatic neurosis due to an assault by a student?                                                    2. Did the claimant prove a right ankle injury due to altered gait following her compensable left leg injury?                                        3. Did the claimant prove entitlement to future medical treatment?The SALJ concluded the claimant did not prove a compensable traumatic neurosis or right ankle injury or impairment.  The claimant appealed.  The Board affirmed the SALJ’s decision.
Lorrie Lott v. Kansas Star Casino, LLC                                              CS-00-0460-777                                       AP-00-0462-4003/23/2022Did Claimant meet her burden of proving she sustained personal injury by repetitive trauma arising out of and in the course of her employment with Respondent?The preliminary Order was affirmed.  Claimant proved she sustained a progressive injury by repetitive trauma.  Claimant need not present radiologic studies to demonstrate the repetitive nature of the injury by “diagnostic or clinical tests.”
Judy Keenan v. State of Kansas                                                CS-00-0447-729                                            AP-00-0462-2033/22/20221. Whether Claimant was entitled to a modification of her Award and, if so, what is the nature and extent of the modification?                                                     2. Was Respondent entitled to a credit pursuant to K.S.A. 44-501(e)?The Board found Claimant did suffer an increase in her functional impairment, but was not entitled to a modification of her award because her request for review/modification was filed well past the 415 week limitation.  The Board further found Respondent was not entitled to a credit.
Judy Keenan v. State of Kansas                                                CS-00-0267-277                                            AP-00-0462-2043/22/20221. Whether Claimant was entitled to a modification of her Award and, if so, what is the nature and extent of the modification?                                          2. Was Respondent entitled to a credit pursuant to K.S.A. 44-501(e)?The Board found Claimant did suffer an increase in her functional impairment, but was not entitled to a modification of her award because her request for review/modification was filed well past the 415 week limitation.  The Board further found Respondent was not entitled to a credit.
Guadalupe Garcia v. Tyson Fresh Meats                                                           CS-00-0053-632                                AP-00-0451-8953/15/2022Nature and Extent of impariment.The Board issued an Order for Remand to the ALJ with instructions to "afford the parties the opportunity to supplement the record with opinions from the examining physicians concerning Claimant's impairment of function. The ALJ is also instructed to issue an order on remand making findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding the nature and extent of Claimant's impairment." The Order on Remand was issued in response to the Kansas Court of Appeals decision. 
Sundown Jacobs v. State of Kansas                                             CS-00-0444-106                                        AP-00-0461-8093/10/2022What is the extent of impairment for two scheduled injuries?The Board adopted the only body as whole impairment rating for bilateral shoulder injuries put in evidence. Respondent’s rating was based on two scheduled impairment ratings from two different doctors.  
Sundown Jacobs v. State of Kansas                                                 CS-00-0339-793                                         AP-00-0461-8103/10/2022What is the extent of impairment for two scheduled injuries?The Board adopted the only body as whole impairment rating for bilateral shoulder injuries put in evidence. Respondent’s rating was based on two scheduled impairment ratings from two different doctors.  
Sundown Jacobs v. State of Kansas                                                  CS-00-0316-236                              AP-00-0461-8113/10/2022What is the extent of impairment for two scheduled injuries?The Board adopted the only body as whole impairment rating for bilateral shoulder injuries put in evidence. Respondent’s rating was based on two scheduled impairment ratings from two different doctors.  
Richard Grounds v. Excel, Inc.                                         CS-00-0459-488                                  AP-00-0462-9533/9/2022HorseplayThe ALJ found Claimant did not voluntarily participate in horseplay and ordered respondent to provide treatment for Claimant’s right knee injury and pay medical bills.  The ALJ denied temporary total disability benefits because Claimant voluntarily resigned.  Respondent appealed, alleging ALJ failed to consider credibility of witnesses on horseplay issue, and ALJ did not have jurisdiction to order payment of medical bills without bills being placed into evidence.  The Board found respondent did not prove affirmative defense of horseplay, and no jurisdiction under K.S.A.44-534a to review the order for payment of medical bills.   

 

February 2022

Order DateCase NameIssueHolding
25-Feb-22Stryker v. Sugar Creek Packing Company, AP-00-0461-236, CS-00-0338-508Injury arising out of employmentThe ALJ found claimant suffered a sole aggravation of a preexisting condition and denied the claim for compensation.  The Board found claimant failed to prove a lesion or change in the physical structure of the body as required by K.S.A. 44-508(e). The Board also found claimant failed prove she suffered more than a sole aggravation of a preexisting condition as required by K.S.A. 44-508(f)(2).  Affirmed.
24-Feb-22Kennedy v. Prophet Painting, AP-00-0463-222, CS-00-0459-380Did the claimant prove the respondent had sufficient payroll to be required to provide workers compensation coverage?The ALJ concluded the claimant did not prove the respondent had the requisite payroll for coverage under the Act.  The claimant appealed.  A single Board Member affirmed the ALJ’s decision, which encouraged the claimant to obtain additional evidence to prove the payroll.
22-Feb-22Schmidt v. Crustbusters, Inc. AP-00-0462-808; CS-00-0436-091Secondary injury ruleThe Board found Claimant’s left knee injury is the prevailing factor in causing injury to Claimant’s right knee.  This is an example of the application of the secondary injury rule.  
11-Feb-22Ramone St. Clair, III v. Providence Medical Center, AP-00-0461-398 and CS-00-0097-560
Issues:  Nature/Extent of Disability > Permanent Total Disability, Work Disability or limited to functional impairment.
                Additional TTD.
                Future Medical Benefits.
The Award of the ALJ was affirmed finding Claimant was entitled to permanent total disability benefits, additional TTD and future medical benefits.  
9-Feb-22Hipp v. Dee King Trucking - AP-00-0461-294, CS-00-0456-534Does an agreement to provide work injury benefits between a Texas employer and their employees bar their employees, when injured in Kansas, from filing and receiving Kansas workers compensation benefits?Respondent is a Texas employer and Texas allows employers to not participate in the state workers compensation system. Respondent offers their employees with a plan to provide benefits as a result of workplace injuries. Claimant signed an agreement accepting this plan. After Claimant was injured as a result of an accident occurring in Kansas he accepted weekly disability benefits and his medical bills were paid under Respondent’s plan. Claimant filed an application for Kansas workers compensation benefits. The Board issued a preliminary hearing order finding Respondent’s plan did not bar Claimant from filing for Kansas workers compensation benefits and Kansas has jurisdiction over determining Claimant entitlement to such benefits under K.S.A. 44-543(b).  However Claimant is barred from receiving benefits under collateral estoppel because Claimant has claimed and received benefits under Respondent’s plan and thus is barred from receiving Kansas workers compensation benefits.  
1-Feb-22Eduardo Gordillo v. Coslett Roofing and Construction – AP-00-0461-205; CS-00-0443-898The issues were “Does the Kansas Workers Compensation Act apply under K.S.A. 44-505(a)” and “Was the claimant an employee of the respondent or an independent contractor?”The issues were “Does the Kansas Workers Compensation Act apply under K.S.A. 44-505(a)” and “Was the claimant an employee of the respondent or an independent contractor?”
1-Feb-22Lee Webb v Walmart – AP-00-0461-424; CS-00-0447-730 and AP-00-0461-425; CS-00-0447-261The main issue was “Did the claimant meet with personal injury by accident or repetitive trauma arising out of and in the course of his employment?”The claimant did not meet his burden of proving he sustained personal injury by accident or repetitive trauma arising out of and in the course of his employment.  The claimant did not prove the prevailing factor requirement.  The claimant did not prove permanent impairment as a result of his employment.
 

January 2022

 

Order DateCase NameIssueHolding
31-Jan-22Cynthia Beitzinger v. U.S.D. 250 – AP-00-0461-864; CS-00-0450-577At issue was whether Claimant proved she sustained a shoulder injury from an accident arising out of and in the course of her employment with Respondent.  Based on review of the record as a whole, one Board member found Claimant’s testimony of the alleged accident was not credible, because it was contradicted by other witnesses, the initial treatment records and did not make logical sense.  Therefore, Claimant did not prove she sustained a compensable injury.
31-Jan-22Theresa Burns v. United Plains, AP-00-0462-578; CS-00-0268-255Did Claimant sustain a compensable injury to her left knee?Respondent appealed the ALJ’s preliminary hearing Order granting Claimant’s request for medical treatment.  The Board affirmed the ALJ’s Order finding Claimant sustained her burden of proving her need for medical treatment was the natural and probable consequence from Claimant’s back injury.  “Secondary injuries are compensable if caused primarily by the original work accident and are the natural and probable consequence of the original injury.”  Buchanan v. JM Staffing, LLC., 52 Kan App. 2d 943, 951 379 P3d 428 (2016).
31-Jan-22Alex Schell v. City of Topeka -- AP-00-0461-191: CS-00-0444-211The main issue: Did Claimant suffer an injury arising out of and in the course of his employment and Claimant’s alleged accident the prevailing factor for causing the injury, need for medical treatment, and permanent disability?The Board ruled Claimant did not prove his right upper extremity injury arose out of and in the course of employment.  The preponderance of the evidence established Claimant’s right upper extremity injury was caused by an accident at home instead of the work accident.
31-Jan-22Rochelle Strack v. Restoration Family Services, AP-00-0462-454, CS-00-0459-692

1. Did the ALJ err in applying the provisions of K.S.A. 44-532a against the Fund and in favor of respondent?                 

2. Did the ALJ exceed his jurisdiction when he concluded, by applying K.S.A. 44-532a to the evidence, respondent is "preliminarily financially unable to pay" the costs and medical bills associated with this case, despite the evidence showing respondent's assets exceed its debts?                

3. May the Fund avail itself of K.S.A. 44-534a(a)(2) and whether "certain defenses apply" for purposes of a preliminary hearing order?

The ALJ found respondent financially unable to pay and assessed liability against the Fund.  The Fund appealed alleging the ALJ ignored evidence Respondent was able to pay the claim.  The Board found no jurisdiction under K.S.A.44-534a to review an assessment against the Fund.  Appeal dismissed. 
28-Jan-22Justin Rumbaugh v. DirecTV, Inc. -- AP-00-0462-579; CS-00-0154-263The issue concerned whether the ALJ had authority to apportion medical bills between the respondent and a third-party settlement when no medical bills were ordered paid at all.The Board affirmed in part as to the claimant not proving entitlement to having the medical bills paid.  The Post-Award Medical Award was vacated as to the applicability of accord and satisfaction and with respect to the ALJ bifurcating which medical bills are subject to the subrogation credit.
25-Jan-22Lori Jackson v. Kansas Star Casino, AP-00-0462-214; CS-00-0459-456

1.  Did Claimant provide proper notice of a work-related injury pursuant to K.S.A. 44-520? 2. Did Claimant’s injury arise out of and in the course of Claimant’s employment?

2. Did Claimant’s injury arise out of and in the course of Claimant’s employment?

This is preliminary hearing case, where it was found Claimant gave proper notice by telling her supervisor of the accident, security personnel and providing a written statement about the accident at the employer’s request. It was also found Claimant had an accident arising out of and in the course of her employment when Claimant slipped and fell in the employee dining room while on break, resulting in her injuries.
20-Jan-22Carl Johnson v. Textron Aviation -- AP-00-0460-708; CS-00-0342-475 The primary issue was whether the prevailing factor for Claimant’s bilateral carpal tunnel was his type 2 diabetes or his repetitive work duties with Respondent. It was held Claimant’s long-standing type 2 insulin dependent diabetes was the prevailing factor for Claimant’s bilateral carpal tunnel.  The Board modified the ALJ Award to disregard an impairment rating due to the holding in Zimero v. Tyson Fresh Meats.
20-Jan-22Rominee Flores (Ryals) v. Medicalodges, Inc. -- AP-00-0462-201; CS-00-0452-730 & AP-00-0462-202; CS-00-0452-731 Did the claimant sustain injuries by accidents occurring which arose out of and in the course of her employment?The claimant was injured in accidents arising out of and in the course of her employment on both occasions.  The claimant proved the prevailing factor component of K.S.A. 44-508.
14-Jan-22Debra Ortega v. Encore Rehabilitation Services, AP-00-0460-821; CS-00-0435-279What is the nature and extent of Ms. Ortega’s impairment?The ALJ adopted the opinions held by the Court’s examiner and awarded 7 percent whole person impairment.  Claimant appealed the nature and extent of impairment.  The Board affirmed, finding the Court-ordered examiner used the AMA Guides, 6th Edition, as a starting point and added additional impairment for a condition not included in the Guides.  The claimant’s examiner simply assessed impairment without stating the Guides failed to account for actual impairment.  Affirmed.
4-Jan-22Scott Abel v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., AP-00-0460-784, CS-00-0040-369The main issue was “did the claimant's injury arise out of and in the course of his employment, including whether the accident was the prevailing factor causing his injury, need for medical treatment and resulting impairment?”The Board concluded: (1) the claimant’s underlying and preexisting degenerative hip injury or condition was solely rendered symptomatic by the event on March 30, 2018, which is not compensable under K.S.A. 44-508(f)(2); and (2) the prevailing factor in the claimant’s injury, medical condition and impairment or disability is his preexisting hip arthritis.  The remaining issues were moot.
3-Jan-22Breanna Brandt v. Walmart, AP-00-0461-951; CS-00-0458-8061.  Was Claimant’s accidental injury to the right shoulder on April 26, 2021, the prevailing factor for Claimant’s medical condition and need for treatment.                                                         2.  Did the ALJ err in not ordering an independent medical evaluation?Claimant appealed a preliminary hearing order denying Claimant’s request for benefits.  The Board affirmed the ALJ’s order Claimant failed to prove her accident was the prevailing factor causing her injury, medical condition and need for treatment.
3-Jan-22James Zuren v. RND Underground, AP-00-0461-797; CS-00-0214-547Appeal from an Order to dismiss pursuant to K.S.A. 44-513(f).  Excusable neglect was raised as a defense to the Motion to Dismiss. The Board ruled, in affirming the ALJ, excusable does not apply to K.S.A. 44-523(f) because adding excusable neglect as a defense is adding a provision to the law statute that is not there.  See Bergstrom v. Spears Manufacturing, 289 Kan. 605,608, 214 P.3d 676 (2009) and Jones v. Continental Can, 206 Kan. 547, 920 P.2d939 (1996).

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KSA 44-551(d) gives the Director the authority to appoint Special Administrative Law Judges for the purpose of examining and hearing any designated cases. Special Administrative Law Judges shall be attorneys admitted to practice law in Kansas. They shall have the same authority to exercise powers of regular Administrative Law Judges. Special Administrative Law Judges shall be paid according K.A.R. 51-2-5. (*K.A.R. 51-2-5 amended, effective November 11, 2005).

Special Administrative Law Judges fees include:

  • $50.00 for each settlement hearing heard as part of a regular settlement docket.
  • $50.00 for each settlement hearing heard as an individual setting.
  • $100.00 for each preliminary hearing including a preliminary award or for a full hearing.
  • $100.00 for each pre-hearing settlement conference.
  • $85.00 per hour for preparing and rendering a final award. Total not to exceed $500.00. (b) If a special local administrative law judge incurs expenses conducting one or more settlement hearings in a location other than the judge's home community, the expenses shall be assessed as costs proportionately among the cases generating the expenses.
Note: The responsible party will pay the fees.

List of Current Special Administrative Law Judges

Determine Special Administrative Law Judges that serve in your county using the list below.

Barton County

PO Box 1626
Great Bend, KS 67530

Crawford County

Sara Beezley
beezleylaw@ckt.net

Assistant: Kenna Combs
beezleylaw1@ckt.net

PO Box 352
Girard, KS 66743

Finney County & SW Kansas

Thomas J. Burgardt
tjb@calihanlawfirm.com

PO Box 1016
Garden City, KS 67846-1016

Ford County & SW Kansas

Not currently assigned

Johnson County & Wyandotte County

Mark E. Kolich
mek@kolichlaw.com

Assistant: Julie Jaklevic
jaj@wkslawkc.com

8500 Shawnee Mission Pkwy, Suite L6
Merriam, KS 66202

Michael R. Wallace

Assistant: Carolee Borgman
cpb@wkslawkc.com

8500 Shawnee Mission Pkwy, Suite L6
Merriam, KS 66202

Sedgwick County

John L. Carmichael
john@fcse.net

Assistant: Chesna Fowler
cfowler@fcse.net

Assistant: Julie Scheideman
julie@fcse.net

200 W Douglas Ave, Suite 300
Wichita, KS 67202

John C. Nodgaard

Assistant: Kelly Long
klong@arnmullins.com

300 W Douglas Ave, Suite 330
Wichita, KS 67202

Tom Hammond

Assistant: Lorena Hathaway
lhathaway@hzflaw.com

200 W Douglas, Suite 420
Wichita, KS 67202

Shawnee County

1001 SE Quincy
Topeka, KS 66612