Workers' compensation insurance programs in Tennessee and other states generally allow employees to receive benefits when an injury or illness happens on the job. This can pay for the medical expenses an employee faces and may include costs for surgeries, necessary tools like crutches or prescription drugs. In the case of prescription drugs, some organizations like the National Safety Council are worried about the potential for abuse and how this relates to employers.
A report recently issued by the NSC focused on workers who were prescribed painkillers after an injury that allowed for workers' compensation benefits. The NSC looked at 15 court cases that took place between 2009 and 2015 where a plaintiff sued because of the opiate painkillers that were prescribed. The prescribed use of opioids puts employees at risk for overdose or addiction, and courts have ruled that death or addiction due to prescribed painkillers after an injury are covered under workers' compensation.