The Connecticut General Assembly adjourned its 2008 legislative session without passing any of several workers' compensation bills that were opposed by the insurance industry, the American Insurance Association reported in a session end press release.
“Overall, AIA is very pleased with the outcome of the session,” said Laura Kersey, Northeast Region assistant vice president. “The industry was successful in defeating a number of proposals that would have had a negative impact on consumers and insurers. We feel strongly that the decisions made by the General Assembly this session will ultimately benefit workers throughout the state.”
The AIA said several "adverse proposals" would have significantly increased workers' compensation costs and undermined the workers' compensation reforms that the state enacted in 1993. For example, Senate Bill 255 would have greatly increased potential permanent partial disability (PPD) benefit payments in a state where PPD awards already are very high and well above the national average, the group said. In addition to the benefit increase, the legislation would have also created disincentives for injured workers to return to work in a timely and appropriate manner as well as increased the number of disputes within the system and costs associated with those additional disputes, such as attorney fees and medical-legal expert costs, according to the AIA.
The AIA said House Bill 5626 would have destabilized Connecticut's workers' compensation system by negating the exclusive remedy protection by allowing the injured worker to bring a civil action against the workers' compensation insurer for alleged breach of good faith and fair dealing in the administration of claims.