December 15, 2023


December 15, 2023

In a recent Kansas post-award case tried and subsequently appealed by the claimant to the Kansas Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, Wiedner & McAuliffe attorneys Brenden Webb and Andrew Jones secured a favorable decision on behalf of our client, Direct TV, Inc.  The Appellate Board upheld a favorable trial decision obtained relieving Direct TV, Inc. of any obligation to provide medical treatment until the claimant exhausts funds awarded in a third-party settlement.  Wiedner & McAuliffe represented Direct TV, Inc. at both the trial and appellate levels.

Claimant, while receiving authorized medical treatment for an accepted injury, experienced complications that led to a cauda-equina diagnosis resulting in a lifetime of medical issues which required significant ongoing treatment.  The claimant filed a civil suit against one of the medical providers, and received a large medical malpractice settlement.  Here, the claimant argued that by operation of law and per the terms of the third-party settlement agreement, the settlement funds were exempt, and that Direct TV, Inc. was still obligated to provide post-award medical benefits despite the third-party award.  We argued that under K.S.A. 44-504, the claimant must first expend all settlement funds before the burden to provide post-award care shifts back to the employer.

The Board upheld the prior trial decision that the claimant must exhaust the proceeds of his civil settlement prior to the employer being responsible for the payment of any of his future ongoing medical treatment.

If you have any questions on this decision, Kansas workers’ compensation law, an employer’s burden of care, or any workers’ compensation claim, please contact any attorney at Wiedner and McAuliffe by email or phone at 312-855-1105.