The Third Department noted that contracting COVID-19 at the workplace entitled claimant to Worders’ Compensation benefits:
… [S]ubstantial evidence supports the Board’s determination that claimant sustained a work-related injury by contracting COVID-19 in the course of her employment due to specific exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace … . Further, the Board correctly employed the presumption provided by Workers’ Compensation Law § 21 (1), “that an accident that occurs in the course of employment also arises out of that employment” … . Claimant’s treating pulmonary and critical care physician testified that, assuming the facts as claimant and the lay witness testified, which the Board credited, there was a “strong probability” that claimant contracted COVID-19 in the workplace, and the carrier did not submit contrary testimony negating a causal relationship … . Although the medical providers could not offer a conclusive medical opinion as to where claimant contracted COVID-19 so as to establish a causal connection between her contraction of COVID-19 and her employment, the testimony credited by the Board combined with the statutory presumption sufficiently established that she contracted COVID-19 at work from a coworker, and the medical providers’ testimony established that her injuries were the result of, and arose out of, contracting COVID-1 … . Matter of Leonard v David’s Bridal, Inc., 2024 NY Slip Op 00837, Third Dept 2-15-24
Practice Point: This decision demonstrates it is possible to prove COVID was contracted at the workplace entitling the worker to Workers’ Compensation benefits.