PSRB Attorney Earl Seeley III testified on September 28th before the joint committee on labor and workforce development in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, on behalf of bills H1975, H1990 andH1991.
Earl's testimony was regarding legislation to amend chapter 152 (the Worker’s Compensation law) on the issues of scarring and disfigurement.
Earl was asked to testify as a member of the Board of Directors for Massachusetts Association of Trial Attorneys, and as a cochair of their Workers’ Compensation section. These pieces of legislation would increase the overall limitation for scarring and disfigurement and also enlarge the portions of the body upon which scarring would be compensable.
Currently, when Massachusetts employees suffer permanent disfigurement involving burns and scarring they face severe and out-of-date limitations on compensation. The only available compensation for scarring and disfigurement today involves the hands, neck and face. This is simply not fair and completely out-of-date. The current law needs to be updated to reflect contemporary society.
The limited compensation that is presently available to injured workers for scarring and disfigurement has not been updated in decades. A worker with a few smaller scars on his or her fingers reach the cap of $15,000.00 while other workers with more severe injuries receive the same cap of $15,000.00 because the limit has not been indexed to the state average weekly wage. This bill would expand the areas of the body that provide for compensation for scarring and disfigurement, but also bring the amount of compensation allowed by the workers’ compensation current with today’s state average weekly wages and inflation.
Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan and Blakesley has been working to improve the laws that protect injured workers for over 60 years.