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Pennsylvania: Firefighter’s Cancer Claim Found to be Time-Barred

October 20, 2016 (1 min read)

A Pennsylvania appellate court affirmed the denial of workers’ compensation benefits relating to the occupational disease of cancer suffered by a firefighter because the claim was not brought within 600 weeks of the firefighter’s last exposure to workplace hazards while working as a firefighter for a city, as required by § 301(f) of the Workers’ Compensation Act. The court stressed that the state utilized a two-tiered limitations period for so-called “Section 108(r)” claims distinct from the time limit in Section 301. First, a claimant must file the claim within 300 weeks of the last date of work with exposure to a known Group 1 carcinogen. If claimant failed to do so, he or she was not foreclosed from bringing a claim by Section 301(f), but he or she lost the statutory presumption of Sections 301(e) and 301(f). However, if claimant did not file the claim until more than 600 weeks after the date of last workplace exposure, the claimant was foreclosed from bringing that claim in its entirety. The court did add, however, that where, as here, the occupational disease manifested itself outside the 300-week period, such that the claimant was barred from filing a claim, the exclusivity provision in the Act did not apply, and the firefighter could pursue a common-law claim.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Fargo v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd. (City of Philadelphia), 2016 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 427 (Oct. 11, 2016)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 52.07.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law