Boeing Co. v. Dep’t of Labor & Indus.

Patricia Doss filed a claim for workers' compensation with the Department of Labor and Industries after suffering chemical exposure during the course of employment with The Boeing Company. The exposure permanently aggravated her preexisting asthma, and she needed ongoing medical treatment as a result of these combined injuries. The Department determined that the combined effects of Doss's preexisting asthma and the aggravation of this condition during her Boeing employment rendered her permanently totally disabled. A right knee injury also contributed to Doss's preexisting disability. Due to her permanent total disability, the Department awarded Doss a pension. Boeing agreed to pay for the portion of the pension attributable to Doss' workplace injury but challenged the Department's order requiring it to pay for her postpension medical treatment. Boeing argued that the cost of this treatment should also be covered by the second injury fund. Boeing appealed to the Board. The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review centered on whether Boeing, as a self-insured employer, was entitled to second injury fund relief for a Doss' postpension medical costs. The Washington Supreme Court held that the plain language of the governing statutes did not allow a charge to the second injury fund for postpension medical treatment. Accordingly, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals. View "Boeing Co. v. Dep't of Labor & Indus." on Justia Law