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A bill that would have given workers compensation payers and employers half of third-party lawsuit awards failed in Arkansas on Friday.
H.B. 1955 received 35 votes, with 52 lawmakers in the House rejecting the measure and 10 abstaining from the vote, according to information posted on the Arkansas Legislature website.
The bill aimed to govern how payouts from third-party lawsuit stemming from workplace accidents where another party is found negligent are dispersed, giving payers, employers and self-insured entities the rights to “first absolute lien” of one-half of the net proceeds recovered, according to the bill.
Media outlets reported that opponents of the measure claimed the bill failed to help injured workers who only recover two-thirds of their income when they are out of work on an injury and that proceeds from a third-party lawsuit can close the gap.
Proponents argued that the bill aimed to reimburse payers for such costs as medical bills, according to media reports.
Workers compensation rates in Arkansas will decrease 15.4% in 2018, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Monday.