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From PA Chamber of Business & Industry
In late October, the House Labor and Industry Committee voted along party lines to pass H.B. 1234, legislation that would amend the state’s Workers’ Compensation law in response to a state Supreme Court decision known as the Tooey case.
In 2013, the Court ruled in Tooey that employers can potentially be sued in civil court for claims involving alleged occupational diseases filed outside the workers’ compensation eligibility window of 300 weeks (or five and a half years) after employment. This ruling leaves employers at risk for costly civil litigation.
In a memo sent to the committee prior to the vote, the PA Chamber noted that, while our organization does not dispute the Court’s conclusion that individuals in these circumstances ought to have a remedy, as work-related injuries these claims should be directed to workers’ compensation. House Bill 1234 would do just that by providing an additional window of workers’ compensation eligibility following diagnosis of the condition and preventing these cases from proceeding to civil court.
The bill was voted out of the House Labor and Industry Committee by a vote of 15 to 10. It now goes before the full House for further consideration.