NY legislature passes bill to change workers comp attorneys fees
The New York Assembly on Thursday passed legislation that would tie attorneys fees to the weekly compensation awarded to workers or a percentage of the worker’s compensation.
The Democratic-sponsored bill, S.B. 946, which passed the Assembly in a 109-40 vote on party lines, would change attorneys fees for a continuation of weekly compensation benefits for temporary total or partial disability to the amount of one week of compensation. For increases in compensation awarded for temporary total or partial disability, the attorneys fee would be set at 15% of the increased compensation.
The legislation would also change attorneys fees for awards pertaining to loss of use or permanent facial disfigurement to 15% of the compensation due in excess of the employer’s or insurer’s previous payments, and 15% plus a sum equivalent to 15 weeks of the worker’s compensation at a rate fixed by the New York State Workers Compensation Board for awards made for permanent partial disability or death benefits.
The bill passed the state Senate in early June by a vote of 45-18.
If signed into law, the legislation would take effect immediately.
Lawmakers in both the Assembly and Senate also passed a bill to make it easier for volunteer firefighters to obtain workers compensation for vascular rupture.
A.B. 6767, which passed the Senate Thursday, would add vascular rupture to the list of work-related illnesses presumed to be compensable for volunteer firefighters.