Firefighter cancer presumption in Michigan moving forward

Workers compensation lawyer talks about Senate Bill 211 and why a firefighter cancer presumption in Michigan is necessary.

Mlive.com has reported on Senate Bill 211 that would create a firefighter cancer presumption in Michigan. Specific types of cancer would be presumed to arise out of and in the course of employment and would be covered under workers compensation.

This legislation is moving forward with bipartisan support. This is not a new debate and past attempts have failed.

Other states have adopted similar laws that presume a connection between workplace carcinogens and firefighters with cancer. The insurance industry has opposed similar provisions.

Changes under Senate Bill 211

Covers paid firefighters who are employed for 60 months or more and develop respiratory tract, bladder, skin, brain, kidney, blood, thyroid, testicular, prostate, and lymphatic cancers.

Cancers would be considered to arise out of and in the course of employment in the absence of affirmative evidence to the contrary.

Specifies that a firefighter with any of these cancers who was eligible for a pension would not be prohibited from seeking additional medical expenses under workers compensation.

Why is this legislation necessary?

Special interest groups have used enormous political pressure to “reform” workers compensation in Michigan. The burden of proof is now so difficult that many people with occupational diseases don’t even qualify for benefits.

Everyone agrees that firefighters should be treated better. What about machine operators, auto workers, and others who are exposed to carcinogens or toxic chemicals?

Instead of creating a firefighter cancer presumption, how about we fix workers compensation for everyone.

Getting involved

We encourage you to contact your state representatives and tell them to protect workers compensation. Special interest groups should never come before Michigan citizens.

To speak with one of our workers compensation lawyers in Michigan, call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation. There is never a fee unless you receive additional workers compensation benefits or a settlement.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years.  Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

Senate Bill 0211 (2013)

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Jason OX4.

04/01/2013
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