A large-scale study on the total of California cumulative trauma claims has been released by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI). These CT claims are essentially occupational wear and tear claims and include occupational disease claims.
As pointed out by the report, California does not have limitations on these claims that many other states impose. California has a relatively low burden of proof for CT claims.
The proportion of CT claims has been rising, from close to 8 percent of all 2005-2007 indemnity claims to about 18 percent of all 2015 indemnity claims.
In the last few years, the buzz has been over whether employer and insurer stakeholders would try to take a legislative run at somehow limiting CT claims.
But the constituency for CT claims includes a number of politically powerful unions whose workers are susceptible to the effects of physical wear and tear or occupational disease on the job. That includes public safety unions, various service worker unions, building trades workers and on and on.
Putting together a viable coalition to make major changes in California CT law would be a difficult political feat, and it is not clear what significant concessions would be necessary to achieve that.