Backers Drop Arizona Legislation On Workers’ Comp Benefits

March 27, 2014

Business-backed legislation to prohibit workers from filing lawsuits alleging they were unfairly denied workers’ compensation benefits for on-the-job injuries is going nowhere at the Arizona Legislature.

According to the Arizona Capitol Times, supporters of the legislation decided to shelve it because of strong opposition from plaintiffs’ lawyers, the firefighters union and others.

Republican Rep. Karen Fann of Prescott said she will hold meetings before the 2015 legislative session to try to find a compromise.

The state Industrial Commission decides workers’ compensation claims, but a 1990s Arizona Supreme Court ruling gave workers the right to sue in court for damages over claims that are denied or unnecessarily delayed in bad faith.

The proposed legislation would have given the Industrial Commission exclusive jurisdiction over those cases.

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