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California comp liability determination bill amended

California capitol

A California lawmaker has dropped a proposal to require employers to make liability determinations within 60 days for most claims and is instead proposing to shorten only the amount of time to accept or deny a first responder’s claim for a presumptive injury.

Senate President Toni Atkins on Monday amended SB 1127 to eliminate language that would have reduced the time employers have to accept liability on most claims to 60 days from 90 days. Ms. Atkins also eliminated language that would have reduced the time to accept liability on presumptive injury claims to 30 days and replaced it with a proposal to require a determination within 75 days, as opposed to the 90 days currently allowed.

The 75-day liability window would apply to claims for hernias, heart trouble, pneumonia, tuberculosis and any other condition identified in Labor Code Sections 3212 through 3212.85, as well as those in 3212.81 through 3213.2.

Ms. Atkins also reduced the proposed penalty for unreasonably denying claims by first responders for conditions presumed compensable to $50,000 from $100,000 in previous versions of the bill.

The Senate voted 28-9 to pass the bill May 24. The bill is currently awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Insurance Committee.