APPEAL FROM COURT OF APPEALS CASE NO. 2018-CA-000788 WORKERS
COMPENSATION BOARD NO. 15-WC-01407
COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT: Barry Lewis.
COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE, ROGER HALL: Daniel Fayne Dotson.
COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE, WORKERS' COMPENSATION BOARD:
Michael W. Alvey.
COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE, HON. CHRISTINA HAJJAR: Honorable
Christina Hajjar Administrative Law Judge.
Hall (Hall) developed mesothelioma after being exposed to
asbestos over the course of his employment as a teacher at
Letcher County High School in Letcher County, Kentucky. He
initiated a claim for benefits pursuant to Kentucky Revised
Statutes (KRS) Chapter 342, the Workers' Compensation
chapter. After reviewing the relevant evidence, an
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) denied Hall's claim. He
appealed to the Workers' Compensation Board (Board),
which unanimously reversed the ALJ's determination. The
Letcher County Board of Education (Letcher County) appealed
to the Court of Appeals, which unanimously affirmed the
Board's decision. He now appeals to this Court.
was employed as a teacher at Letcher County High School
beginning in 1976 until he retired in 2003. Over the course
of his career, he physically worked in two different school
buildings-the old high school, and the new high school. The
boiler room located in the old high school building was used
as a breakroom for teachers. It contained furniture and
was subsequently transferred to the new Letcher County High
School, which was completed in 1992 and was located across
the street from the old school, which then became the
elementary school. However, he and other teachers continued
to use the boiler room at the old high school as a
breakroom/lunchroom. Hall remained employed at the new high
school until his retirement in 2003. He occasionally worked
as a substitute teacher until 2014.
filed his Form 102-OD on September 4, 2015, alleging that he
developed mesothelioma in his abdominal area after being
exposed to asbestos over the course of his employment. Hall
had been treated by multiple physicians across the county as
a result of this exposure. He underwent two hernia surgeries,
one cyto-reductive surgery and chemotherapy.
concluded that Hall's mesothelioma was caused by his
exposure to asbestos during his course of employment.
However, the ALJ ultimately determined that Hall's claim
was untimely filed pursuant to KRS 342.3l6(4)(a) which
The right to compensation under this chapter resulting from
an occupational disease shall be forever barred unless a
claim is filed with the commissioner within three (3) years
after the last injurious exposure to the occupational hazard
or after the employee first experiences a distinct
manifestation of an occupational disease in the form of
symptoms reasonably sufficient to apprise the employee that
he or she has contracted the disease, whichever shall last
occur; and if death results from the occupational disease
within that period, unless a claim therefor be filed with the
commissioner within three (3) years after the death; but that
notice of claim shall be deemed waived in case of disability
or death where the employer, or its insurance carrier,
voluntarily makes payment therefor, or if the incurrence of
the disease or the death of the employee and its cause was
known to the employer. However, the right to
compensation for any occupational disease shall be forever
barred, unless a claim is filed with the commissioner
within five (5) years from the last injurious