Texas Bill would protect First Responders' claims against unlawful denials

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A bill that was recently filed in the Texas House of Representatives would illegally deny insurers denying Texas first responders access to medical treatments for line-of-duty injuries that fall under the compensation laws of national workers.

According to one of the authors of House Bill 1521, Rep. Oscar Longoria, would amend the proposed law Section 415.021 of the Labor Code to add sanctions, administrative sanctions and other remedies, including lawyers' fees, for administrative violations by self or collectively insured municipalities are required to cover compensation claims of eligible employees.

The amount of the administrative fine may not be less than twice the total amount of the payments due in connection with the first responder employee's claim.

HB 1521 would clarify that cities do not have sovereign immunity when acting as compensation for employee compensation. This would ensure that the Division of Workers & Compensation and the Texas Department of Insurance can properly regulate government agencies that cover the compensation coverage of employees.

In a statement, Rep. Longoria: "Workers 'compensation system has failed too many Texas-first responders, including my constituent Homer Salinas, a mission firefighter and cancer survivor." Salinas won four rounds of workers' procedure to treat his cancer treatment. but he was sued by the city's mission to reverse previous decisions in Homer's favor. "House Bill 1521 is an important step to ensure that our hero's first responders are not denied the medical treatment they have deserved their service according to the law of Texas, Salinas should focus on his health and protect his community – do not fight for the benefits he has earned. "

The proposed legislation is supported by the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters (TSAFF), which includes more than 18,000 professional firefighters in 182 Texas communities.

Studies show that firefighters have an increased risk of cancer and other diseases caused by exposure to hazardous substances at work.

For example, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) mentions the higher risks of kidney cancer that firefighters encounter. Chapter 607 of the Texas Government Code, Texas & # 39; & # 39; presumptive & # 39; law, covers related medical care, according to the Texas Department of Insurance. The statute stipulates that firefighters in Texas have the right to the medical treatment they have earned because they risked their own lives to protect others.

Besides Longoria, the bill was also co-author of Rep. Dustin Burrows, Rep. Jeff Leach, Rep. Morgan Meyer and Rep. Joe Moody.

Source: House of Representatives of Texas

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