From: "Dodge, Janice" <JDDodge**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Question Concerning Insurance and Liability for Undergraduate Lab Accidents
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2016 13:29:19 +0000
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CY1PR02MB13842FD5765DFED5E29BDEB1E2900**At_Symbol_Here**

Hi Dom,

In Florida, state agencies, including the universities, are also self-insured. Our (State of Florida contracted) worker's comp covers any employee. A student who is not paid to do research is not considered an employee. We let our research faculty know to report any injury to an employee (faculty, post doc, grad student, paid undergrad or paid technician, or a registered volunteer) to us for worker's comp. A DIS student in research (course credit) or any student in a lab class who is injured is covered under his/her own health insurance. All students are required to have health insurance.

Liability is separate matter. Any student (or employee) can sue for compensation if they believe the university or its employees were negligent. We require that all incidents, regardless of work status and medical need, are reported to us. This protects both the university and the student by providing a record of what happened when everyone's memories are fresh.


Janice Dodge
Laboratory Safety Officer
Florida State University
(850) 644-8916

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Casadonte, Dominick
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2016 8:29 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Question Concerning Insurance and Liability for Undergraduate Lab Accidents

Hi All,

A question for the collective wisdom of the list serve

We had a minor accident a few weeks ago which I mentioned at the ACS symposium on how the accidents at UCLA and Texas Tech are changing the culture of safety at universities. The student was wearing his PPE, everything was done with safety in mind. He suffered only superficial lacerations on his hands. The biggest expense for him was the ambulance ride to the emergency room and being treated (no stitches were needed; I think he was given neosporin and sent home after a 2 hour wait).

When he contacted his insurance company, they wanted to know if they were the ones who should have to pay for the ambulance ride, etc. He asked the professor overseeing him (the student was doing undergraduate research for course credit, and according to legal, does not fall under workman1s compensation). Texas Tech is a 3self-insured2 institution. The department has been instructed not to pay, as it would be an admission of liability, and could open the doors for payouts for any minor freshman chemistry lab accident, for example. The university legal would perhaps need to deal with the person1s insurance company or a lawyer, should the student sue.

My question to all of you: We are researching how other universities deal with the issue of who pays for medical care for minor accidents. What do your universities do? How do you deal with the financial aspects of accidents? Are your institutions insured? If so, for liability only?
Liability and damages to infrastructure?

Many thanks for your responses,

Dom Casadonte
Texas Tech University

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