First responder who has been injured or disabled in the line of duty? Speak to an attorney today!

MRSA Work Comp Presumption for Firefighters and EMTs Becomes Law

Written by Brent Eames

September 29, 2021

September 24, 2021

Brent Eames

Firefighter injury attorney, Brent Eames, recently wrote about the passage of House Bill 3662 in the Illinois Senate, which was intended to create a “rebuttable presumption” with respect to firefighters, and emergency medical technicians who contract methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the course of their employment. On August 20, 2021, Governor Pritzker finally signed into law the Public Act 102-0493, which officially amended Section 6 (f) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act to reflect this new benefit for injured firefighters and paramedics. Keep reading to learn more from our top firefighter injury attorney about the new change in the law.

Section 6(f) of the Illinois Work Comp Act addresses occupational diseases compensable under the Act. In particular, under Section 6(f), if a firefighter, emergency medical technician (EMT), emergency medical technician-intermediate (EMT-I), advanced emergency medical technician (A-EMT), or paramedic, develops any condition or impairment as a direct or indirect result of any bloodborne pathogen, lung respiratory disease or condition, heart or vascular disease or condition, hypertension, tuberculosis, or cancer, causing any disability, then, there is a rebuttable presumption that the disability arose out of and in the course of such person’s employment and is compensable under the Act. A causal connection is also presumed between the disability and the claimant’s employment. The Public Act 102-0493 amended Section 6(f) and added infections caused by Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus to the list of illnesses resulting in disability, temporary, permanent, total, or partial, that is presumed to arise out of and in the course of first respondent’s employment which ought to be compensable under the Act. MRSA is a highly contagious bacterial infection that can be contracted either through contact with a sick individual or with a surface containing the bacteria. It is difficult to treat, because MRSA is resistant to numerous antibiotics. A vast majority of MRSA infections are associated with hospitals and nursing homes. Nevertheless, during the past 10 years, there was a dramatic increase in MRSA infections that are hospital-acquired or those that were community-acquired through public gyms, schools, or workplaces.

First responders have higher exposure rates to MRSA than members of the general public. A study conducted by the professor from the University of Washington, Marilyn Roberts, found that 20 percent of the firefighters / paramedics who volunteered to participate in the study carried MRSA and the strains that they carried were related to environmental transmission. In the course of the same study, Professor Roberts also collected more than 1,000 samples from various surfaces at fire stations, interiors of the firetrucks, and from the firefighter’s protective gear. The results revealed that 4% of those samples contained MRSA corroborating the environmental transmission theory. The results of the study are not surprising. First responders come into contact with a large number of individuals and act as liaison between hospitals and injured members of the general public.

Although there are only a few studies conducted on the subject, Public Act 102-0493 is an important step in ensuring that Illinois first responders are protected when they become disabled as a result of contracting MRSA infection while performing their regular employment duties.

Police & Firefighter Injuries | Workers’ Compensation

0 Comments

Work Injury? We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. No recovery, no fee!

Consult an Illinois Lawyer for Injured First Responders

If you were injured on duty and are wondering what steps to take, our best workers’ compensation attorneys in Chicago at Eames Law Group can help.

Don’t give the claim handlers the chance to take advantage of you.

Use this contact form to get your free evaluation or call 312-544-0511 today.

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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The information on this website is for informational purposes only. This website should not be taken as legal advice. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. This information should not be taken as the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. For more details, read the full disclaimer below.

AREAS SERVED INCLUDE: All Illinois cities and counties; Cook, DuPage, DeKalb, Will, Kane, Kendall, Kankakee, Sangamon, Madison, McClean, Champaign, Macon, Fayette, Marion and more.

© 2021 Eames Law Group. All rights reserved.

Integrated Marketing Services by South Ventureshttps://www.google.com/recaptcha/api2/anchor?ar=1&k=6Lcq164ZAAAAAGR0XEkkHiSfmHguvOg87qxI1cph&co=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZWFtZXNpbmp1cnlsYXcuY29tOjQ0Mw..&hl=en&v=tftmXwdbgCvrXiHxr5HGbIaL&size=invisible&cb=ffbmiu8e2eqa

Do You Need An Attorney For First Responders?

Related Articles

Firefighter and EMT Work Comp Staph Infection Bill Passes Both Houses

Firefighter and EMT Work Comp Staph Infection Bill Passes Both Houses

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...

Victory at Trial:  Brent Eames Wins Spinal Fusion for Injured Client

Victory at Trial: Brent Eames Wins Spinal Fusion for Injured Client

After suffering a work-related injury to her lower back, our client was recommended to undergo a spinal fusion surgery by her treating orthopedic doctor. Unfortunately, her employer responded by retaining two different doctors to dispute our client's need for the...