There are people working throughout the Coronavirus outbreak. Unfortunately, many people are still becoming infected with the virus, and these people will need to self quarantine or be hospitalized.
The issue is whether or not a person who gets Coronavirus can obtain worker’s compensation benefits, if they are unable to work because of the virus.
Connecticut law states: CGS 31-275 (15) “Occupational disease” includes any disease peculiar to the occupation in which the employee was engaged and due to causes in excess of the ordinary hazards of employment as such, and includes any disease due to or attributable to exposure to or contact with any radioactive material by an employee in the course of his employment. see Niedzwicki v. Pequonnock Foundry, 133 Conn. 78, 48 A.2d 369; Glodenis v. American Brass Co., 118 Conn. 29, 37, 170 A. 146. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus is not peculiar to any occupation. The virus spreads randomly among people in the community. Therefore, anyone infected with Coronavirus is not entitled to worker’s compensation benefits in the State of Connecticut, for an occupational disease.
General Statutes § 31-275 (16) (A), defines the term “injury” to encompass an “accidental injury which may be definitely located as to the time when and the place where the accident occurred….” See Doe v. Stamford, 241 Conn. 692 at 698 (1997). In the Doe case, “there is no dispute in this case that the claimant’s exposures to HIV and tuberculosis may be definitely located as to time or place or that they resulted from accidental contact with infected suspects.” With the Coronavirus, we can expect to see claims from medical providers, including ambulance attendants, nursing home workers, and hospital employees, who get infected with the virus at work.
If you believe that you have been infected with the Coronavirus at work, please feel free to contact
Attorney Robert M. Singer, 2572 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518
Serving New Haven County and all of Connecticut