By a vote of 15-13, the Senate has sent to the third reading calendar SB156, a bill that would continue to allow attorney fees to be deducted from an injured person's workmen's compensation award.
The Senate rejected SB147, sponsored by Sen. Alarik Myrin, R-Altamont, that would have required attorney fees be paid by companies or insurance companies in addition to any regular compensation awards.There has been heavy lobbying against SB147 by the Utah Mining Association, the Utah Manufacturers Association and the Utah Self Insurers Association. Lobbying in favor of the bill and against SB156 is the newly formed Utah Injured Workers Association and the Utah AFL-CIO.
While the Legislature has been haggling over this issue, the Utah Court of Appeals is considering a decision from a State Industrial Commission administrative law judge that said attorney's fees can't be deducted from an injured person's compensation award.
Injured workers agree they face tough financial times because of their injuries and deducting attorney fees from their awards is hurting them more.