Does Workers’ Compensation Coverage Apply?
For obvious reasons this is a fluid situation and there have been no specific rulings to date. Insurance carriers, third party administrators and risk managers must rely upon precedent, similar cases and relevant fact patterns to develop case management strategies, to address the issues as they arise, and to develop reasonable prevention strategies. In addition to “injuries,” Workers’ Compensation Acts provide compensation for “diseases” that are occupational in nature.
Specific diseases that have been associated with workplace exposures include Black Lung, Asbestosis and Hepatitis. Diseases not specifically enumerated by state law may also be covered if the industry’s exposure is substantially higher than the general population. This is why we do not typically see seasonal influenza workplace “injuries.” We strongly recommend reaching out to someone on your team to discuss your specific scenario.