• Claim For Benefits Under § 108(R) for Cancer Suffered by Firefighter Must Be Brought Within 600 Weeks of Last Exposure to Work-Related Hazards While Working as Firefighter or Be Subject to Dismissal.
  • January 24, 2017 | Author: Francis X. Wickersham
  • Law Firm: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C. - King Of Prussia Office
  • The Commonwealth Court affirmed the decisions below, concluding that the claim petition was not timely filed. In doing so, they rejected the claimant’s argument that the legislature intended § 301(f)of the Act to be an extension of the 300-week “manifestation” period of § 301(c)(2) for § 108(r) cases to 600 weeks. According to the claimant, he was entitled to pursue his claims for the squamous cell cancer and malignant melanoma-which were diagnosed in 1997 and 2005-because the diagnoses occurred within 600 weeks of his last workplace exposure in 2001. The claimant conceded he was not entitled to a presumption for the bladder cancer because the diagnosis did not occur within 300 weeks of his last exposure. The court also rejected the claimant’s argument that a discovery rule would be attached to § 301(f) if it was determined that § 301(f) required a claim under § 108(r) to be filed within 600 weeks of the last date of workplace exposure. According to the court, the 600-week limitation period of § 301(f) acts as a Statute of Repose and is not subject to a discovery rule. Overall, the held that the date of filing is determinative in § 301(f), rather than the date that disability manifests itself. According to the court, § 301(f) sets forth a two-tiered limitation for § 108(r) claims that is distinct from the time limit in § 301(c)(2). First, the claimant must file the claim within 300 weeks of the last date of work with exposure to a known Group 1 carcinogen. If the claimant fails to do so, he is not barred from bringing the claim by § 301(f), but he loses the statutory presumption in § 301(e) and § 301(f). However, if the claimant does not file the claim until more than 600 weeks after the date of the last workplace exposure, he is forever barred from bringing that claim in its entirety.