The new bill (H.230), which establishes scheduling criteria for workers’ compensation claims, signed last Thursday by New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen, contained important amendments proposed by the American Insurance Association, limiting the definition of “brain injuries” and changing the legislation’s effective date.
“As originally proposed, the bill was so broad that it could have included psychogenic claims for mental stress or emotional damage as a brain injury,” stated Donald Baldini, AIA asst. VP for the northeast region. “If AIA had not successfully amended this bill, it would have opened the door to many questionable claims that would have driven up workers’ compensation costs,” he continued.
Martin Gross, the AIA’s local counsel, conducted negotiations with representatives from a group of New Hampshire trial lawyers to reach agreement on the limitations, which now includes an effective date of August 7th.
“The original bill was open-ended and could have resulted in a flood of claims from previous years that were not covered in the premium bas for those years,” Baldini indicated.