Westlaw News

IN BRIEF: State can ease workers’ comp burden for nuke site’s fed contractors – 9th Circ.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a Washington state law that makes it easier for federal contract workers at the decommissioned Hanford Nuclear Reservation to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

The 2018 law, HB 1723, creates a rebuttable presumption that certain cancers and other conditions are occupational diseases of people who have worked “directly or indirectly” for the U.S. government at Hanford, where weapons-grade plutonium was manufactured from 1944 to 1989 and cleanup operations are expected to last another six decades. According to the 9th Circuit, the law could affect “some 100,000 persons.”

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