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Proposed California SB 335, Which Shortens the Timeframe in Which to Deny Workers' Compensation, Claims Failed to Pass, by Debra Tobias.

2021-07-27

On 07/13/2021, the California Assembly Committee on Insurance held its hearing on the proposed SB 335, which proposes to amend California Labor Code sections 3212.86, 3212.87, 3212.88, 3761, and 5402, as well as to add a Labor Code section 5814.3 to, among other things, shorten the investigatory or delay period for all workers’ compensation claims from 90 days to 45 days or 30 days for presumptive injuries. While the timeframe in which to deny the claim is shortened by the proposed bill, the potential liability for medical expenses during the investigation or delay period would increase from the current $10,000 cap up to $17,000 for the provision of medical treatment.

At the hearing on 7/13/2021, the Assembly Committee amended the bill, which ultimately led to its failure to pass. The amendments kept the current timeframes in which to deny claims and left the medical expense potential liability cap at $10,000. Penalties for unreasonable delays of payment by the insurer were also addressed by the Committee and the size of the penalties (increasing the cap from $10,000 to $25,000) was deemed too punitive by the Committee members.

The failure of the bill to pass does not mean more attempts to reform the workers' compensation laws in California will not continue.

Testan Law will continue to monitor the legislature’s activities and provide updates.

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