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Firefighter and EMT Work Comp Staph Infection Bill Passes Both Houses

Written by Brent Eames

June 15, 2021

On May 28, 2021, the Illinois Senate passed House Bill 3662 in an effort to  amend the Workers’ Compensation Act to create a “rebuttable presumption” with respect to firefighters, and emergency medical technicians who contract methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

The bill was passed by the House of Representatives a month prior, and awaits final review by Gov. Pritzker. If signed, the bill will take immediate effect.

The purpose of the HB 3662 is to allow for an easier process to obtain workers’ compensation benefits for firefighters and EMTs who contract MRSA.

As stated by Illinois Senator Linda Holmes, “MRSA is different from other staph bacteria because it has become resistant to most of the antibiotics doctors use to treat staph infections”.

MRSA usually causes infections of the skin, but can occur in other tissues and organs of the body that can cause serious illness and even death.

Medical conditions that are currently covered under the rebuttable presumption provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act for first responders include blood-borne pathogens, lung and respiratory diseases heart and vascular diseases and conditions, hypertension, tuberculosis, and cancer. Adding MRSA will ensure further protection to the health and safety of first responders who come into direct contact with MRSA carriers.

Firefighter attorney Brent Eames is experienced in representing injured firefighters and EMTs across the state in work-related claims.

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The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact attorney for first responders, Brent Eames, at Eames Law Group, Ltd.

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