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Insurance Company Ordered to Give A Computer System To A Homebound Latex Victim

Insurance Company Ordered to Give A Computer System To A Homebound Latex Victim

Workers' Compensation

A Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court has ordered that a personal computer system be furnished to a homebound former healthcare worker suffering from latex sensitivity. This ruling is consistent with a national trend by the courts toward recognizing the catastrophic impact of latex allergy on general life pursuits. 

The injured worker was so sensitized to latex that she could not leave her home to attend computer training. She could not handle ordinary textbooks and physical training aids because of her sensitivity to the ink and binding materials. 

The Court reasoned that the allergic reaction triggered by further exposure would be so severe that it could be life-threatening. Evidence was offered from the worker's allergist that the victim's sensitivity was so extensive that it could be provoked by exposure to newsprint, plants, and Kleenex. Initial reactions to many substances commonly found in school and office environments were manifested by hoarseness, hives, and itching. 

The Court decided that the insurance company should provide a personal home computer for training and for continued use in the victim's own business, provided that the carrier would be reimbursed from the Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation Fund. The personal computer, costing $1,577.26, was considered by the Court to be a reimbursable training cost. Neb. Rev. Stat. Section 48-162.01(3) and 48-162.03. 

Additional expenses for other items related to the former healthcare worker's retraining were required to be approved by the Rehabilitation Specialist of the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Courts Vocational Rehabilitation Fund prior to their purchase. Olmsted v. Kearney Clinic, et al., 2000 WL 379154 (Neb. Work. Comp. Court 2000) Doc: 200 No:389 Decided April 7, 2000. [Westlaw citation].


By Jon L. Gelman.  The author, Jon L. Gelman, practices law in Wayne, NJ. He is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters). For over five decades, the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900 have represented injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

© 2000-2022 Jon L Gelman. All rights reserved.

Recommended Citation: Gelman, Jon L., Insurance Company Ordered to Give A Computer System To A Homebound Latex Victim, (2000),

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