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Introduced Version House Bill 2239 History

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hb2239 intr
H. B. 2239


(By Delegates Fragale and Evans)
[Introduced February 11, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]




A BILL to amend the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto three new sections, designated §23-4-26, §23-4-27 and §23-4-28, all relating to cardiovascular injury or disease or pulmonary disease suffered by a firefighter; cardiovascular injury or disease or pulmonary disease resulting in a firefighter's death; and presumption of occupational disease for certain types of cancer for firefighters who have been exposed to toxic substances.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto three new sections, designated §23-4-26, §23-4-27 and §23-4-28, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. DISABILITY AND DEATH BENEFITS.
§23-4-26. Cardiovascular injury or disease or pulmonary disease suffered by a firefighter.

If any person has been an active member of a municipal fire department or of a volunteer firefighters' association for at least two years prior to a cardiovascular injury or the onset of a cardiovascular disease or pulmonary disease and if the disease has developed or the injury has occurred within six months of having participated in fire fighting or training or drill which actually involves fire fighting, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the employee received the injury or contracted the disease arising out of and in the course of his or her employment, that sufficient notice of the injury or disease has been given, and that the injury or disease was not occasioned by the willful intention of the employee to injure himself or herself or another.
For the purposes of this section, a person shall be considered an active member of a municipal fire department or of a volunteer firefighters' association if that person is a member of a municipal fire department or volunteer firefighters' association and if that person aids in the extinguishment of fires, regardless of whether or not that person has administrative duties or other duties as a member of the municipal fire department or volunteer firefighters' association.
§23-4-27. Cardiovascular injury or disease or pulmonary disease resulting in a firefighter's death.

If any person had been an active member of a municipal fire department or of a volunteer firefighters' association for at least two years prior to a cardiovascular injury or the onset of a cardiovascular disease or pulmonary disease and provided that the person had developed the disease or had suffered the injury which resulted in death within six months of having participated in fire fighting or training or drill which actually involves fire fighting, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person received the injury or disease arising out of and in the course of his or her employment, that sufficient notice of the injury or disease was given, and that the injury or disease was not occasioned by the willful intention of the employee to injure himself or herself or another.
For the purposes of this section, a person shall be considered an active member of a municipal fire department or of a volunteer firefighters' association if that person is a member of a municipal fire department or volunteer firefighters' association and if that person aids in the extinguishment of fires regardless of whether or not that person has administrative duties or other duties as a member of the municipal fire department or volunteer firefighters' association.
§23-4-28. Presumption of occupational disease for certain types of cancer for firefighters who have been exposed to toxic substances.

Leukemia or pancreatic, prostate, rectal or throat cancer that is caused by a documented contact with a toxic substance that a volunteer or salaried firefighter having completed twelve years of continuous service has encountered in the line of duty and causes: (i) The death of such firefighter; or (ii) any health condition or impairment of such firefighter resulting in total or partial disability shall be presumed to be an occupational disease suffered in the line of duty, that is covered by this chapter, unless such presumption is overcome by a preponderance of competent evidence to the contrary. For the purposes of this section, a "toxic substance" is one which is a known or suspected carcinogen, as defined by the international agency for research on cancer, and which causes, or is suspected to cause leukemia or pancreatic, prostate, rectal or throat cancer.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create a presumption of compensability for cardiovascular injury or disease of firefighters. The bill further creates a rebuttable presumption of occupational disease for certain types of cancer for firefighters who have been exposed to toxic substances.

These sections are new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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