Call or email us anytime
(805) 484-0333
Search Guide
Today is Wednesday, February 01, 2023 -

Industry Insights

Asbestos Pokes its Long Nose out from under the Workers' Comp Tent

  • National
  • -  0 shares

Judgments in two recent court cases held that long-tail asbestos claims are not subject to the comp bar.

A very good friend who spends most of his time dealing with asbestos claims for a very large carrier shared this with me in a recent email. Here’s how he put it:

If this contagion were to spread (and that depends very much on the precise wording of the comp statutes in each state), a lot of employers who might have believed that they were protected by the comp bar will find themselves defendants in lawsuits brought by former employees, which raises lots of questions about the applicability of their general liability or employer liability coverage, assuming they had it and can identify the insurers. [emphasis added]

The two cases are Tooey v. AK Steel Corp et al., 81 A.3d 851 (Pa. 2013) in Pennsylvania and  Folta v. Ferro Engineering, 2014 Ill. App. LEXIS 444 in Illinois.

In Tooey, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the exclusivity provisions of the state Workers’ Compensation Act did not bar former employees alleging asbestos exposure from bringing lawsuits against their former employers when the asbestos-related disease didn’t appear until after the time limit for filing for statutory work comp benefits had ended – which is 300 weeks in Pennsylvania.

In Folta, an Illinois appeals court used the Tooey citation in revisiting an asbestos injury suit filed by an alleged victim who wasn’t diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease until 41 years after leaving his employment.

There’s a lot of legal detail involved including determining which statute takes precedence, however, the likelihood that the courts’ rationales are not limited to asbestos claims may well be the most significant.

What does this mean for you?

This strikes me as one of those things that could be very, very meaningful. What think you?

Joe Paduda is president of Healthcare Associates, an employer consulting firm, and co-owner of CompPharma, a consortium of pharmacy benefit managers. This column was reprinted with his permission from his Managed Care Matters blog.

No Comments

Log in to post a comment

Close


Do not post libelous remarks. You are solely responsible for the postings you input. By posting here you agree to hold harmless and indemnify WorkCompCentral for any damages and actions your post may cause.

Advertisements

Upcoming Events

  • Feb 2, 2023

    Alta Claims Day

    8:00 to 9:00: Exhibitor Set Up 9:00 to 10:00: Breakfast, Registration & Networking 10:00 to 10: …

  • Feb 7-10, 2023

    2023 PARMA Annual Conference

    The Sweet Success to Risk Management …

  • Mar 1-3, 2023

    NRRDA Annual Conference

    This years three-day event brings the best in our industry together in a forum that inspires crea …

Workers' Compensation Events

Social Media Links


WorkCompCentral
c/o Business Insurance Holdings, Inc.
PO Box 1010
Greenwich, CT 06836
(805) 484-0333