Justice For The American Worker – Kansas Worker’ Compensation
18TH & 19TH Century pirates, like Blackbeard……And the 19th century German “Iron” Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, preceded the United States in the creation of a social system for the protection of injured workers. The modern workers’ compensation system owes parts of its existence to this unique parentage.
Pirates, contrary to popular myth, proved to be highly organized and entrepreneurial. Prior to their assignment to the ranks of outlaws, they were considered highly-prized allies of the government; plundering and sharing the spoils with governors of the pre-Revolutionary colonies giving them a safe port.
Bismarck, the “Iron Chancellor,” introduced “Workers’ Accident Insurance” in 1881. Phased in between 1881 and 1884, the program became the model for workers’ compensation programs in Europe and ultimately America.
Bismarck was a pragmatic leader…. and his main concerns were the unification and growth of Germany, and the protection of his position. On the top of this agenda was the creation of a social program for the protection of workers injured on the job, “A workers’ compensation program”.
America did not embrace the workers’ compensation social revolution until the 1900s. Maryland (1902), Massachusetts (1908), Montana (1909) and New York (1910) each introduced workers’ compensation statutes.
In 1911, the Kansas legislature first adopted workers’ compensation legislation. Workers’ compensation laws created a system where injured workers received a set of benefits for work-related injuries in exchange for the workers giving up their common law rights to bring a civil tort action against their employer when their injuries had been caused by the negligence of the employer.
Unfortunately, in Kansas, nearly since the onset of the establishment of workers’ compensation laws, the Kansas legislature has continuously limited or eroded workers’ benefits in favor of pro-employer legislation.
Since 1991, significant amendments have been made to the Kansas Workers’ Compensation Act restricting benefits even further. The straw that broke the camel’s back, which led to a landmark case of Pardo v. UPS, was when the Kansas legislature mandated the use of the “American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment Sixth Edition” in order to decide levels of permanent impairment, therefore, affecting workers’ compensation values effective January 1, 2015.
Prior to January 1, 2015, Kansas had mandated the use of the “American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment Fourth Edition”. There are significant and major differences between the “American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment “Sixth” Edition and the “Fourth” Edition.”
On March 18, 2015, Francisco Pardo, a long-term employee of UPS, injured his shoulder on the job. Francisco had injured that same shoulder two years prior. This injury became the basis of this landmark legal decision in worker compensation laws that apply in Kansas.
On June 1, 2018, the Kansas Court of Appeals ruled in the Pardo v. UPS case regarding the constitutionality of the statute allowing for the use of the “American Medical Association (AMA) Guides, Sixth Edition”, when determining permanent impairment of function on scheduled injuries with prior impairment.
The court found “that the part of the statute pertaining to the use of the AMA Guides, 6th Edition for determining impairment for injuries after January 1, 2015 to be unconstitutional” …… since Pardo was prohibited from recovering an award for his permanent partial disability from a new and distinct work-related injury.
In this Insider Exclusive “Justice in America” Network TV Special, our news team visits with Francisco Pardo, his attorney Keith Mark, Kris Kobach, Kansas’s Sec of State, and Kansas’s Republican Gubernatorial Nominee, in Kansas City, Kansas to discuss this landmark victory for Kansas workers’
You can reach Keith Mark @ https://markandburkhead.com/attorneys/keith-mark/ or (913) 677-1010