Union leaders and state lawmakers say many Texas cities are denying workers' compensation to firefighters with cancer.
The Houston Chronicle reports that state figures show more than 90 percent of the 117 workers compensation claims filed by Texas firefighters with cancer have been denied in the past six years. Union officials say cities have ignored a state law requiring the government to presume that firefighters' cancers are caused by exposure to carcinogens on the job.
Houston's benefits provider didn't respond for comment. But firefighters say cities use a memo by the Texas Intergovernmental Risk Pool to dodge the cancer presumptive law. The memo only presumes three types of cancer are caused by firefighting: testicular, prostate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
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A bill to allow workers to challenge bad faith claim denials died in the Senate this past session.