Larry D. Mason, a partner in the firm’s Global Insurance Services and Environmental Law groups, wrote an article for the Insurance Coverage Law Report discussing the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision that changed the definition of “occupational disease” and what it means for workers’ compensation claims.
In this article, Larry talks about the potential impacts of the R. T. Vanderbilt Company, Inc. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. decision and took a deep dive into the language surrounding occupational disease including exclusions, limitations, and policy implications for insurers and reinsurers.
“That the Supreme Court’s acceptance of the more expansive and natural meaning of ‘occupational disease’ is correct can be shown in two ways. First, the phrase ‘occupational disease’ plays a crucial role in a multitude of case law decisions, is similarly defined in multiple dictionaries, and is the subject of numerous state statutes. It is applied in the context of workers’ compensation, product liability, independent contractor, and wrongful death matters. Second, while today statutory workers’ compensation schemes are the principal remedy through which an employer’s own employees are compensated for an occupational disease, workers suffered from ‘occupational disease’ before there was a workers’ compensation system in-place to address such matters.”
“The Connecticut Supreme Court’s Occupational Disease Exclusion Decision: Liberating “Occupational Disease” from Workers’ Compensation to Give New Life to an Underappreciated Policy Provision,” Insurance Coverage Law Report, Winter 2020
Larry D. Mason is a renowned trial and appellate litigator and counselor to many national and international businesses across diverse industries. Based in Chicago but with experience litigating and counseling clients through complicated and high-profile matters across the country and internationally, he dedicates most of his practice to property- and casualty-insurance coverage, complex commercial litigation, environmental and toxic torts, professional liability for clients in construction, environmental and related industries, products liability, and identifying emerging risks (especially cybersecurity and new technologies). He brings his extensive experience to leadership positions in the firm, where he is chair of the Environmental and Mass Torts Coverage and Construction Coverage subgroups.