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Hastings Law Journal

Abstract

Compensation for the employees who are the victims of delayed manifestation occupational diseases such as asbestosis and silicosis presents a very real problem for existing state workers' compensation schemes. In the interests of ease of administration and certainty, most state occupational disease acts have established time limitations for the filing of claims. The limitation periods generally were adopted at a time when the effects of exposure to toxic substances in the workplace were virtually unknown and thus fail to provide protection for the victims of delayed manifestation occupational diseases. This Article reviews the various limitation periods which presently govern state occupational disease acts. The Article demonstrates the need for greater national uniformity of workers' compensation law and the importance of coordinating the workers' compensation system more closely with the tort system, with regulatory schemes governing the workplace, and with other social compensation mechanisms. The Article concludes with various recommendations for legislators of occupational disease acts.

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