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PROGRESSIVE DISEASE

The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and appellate courts have recognized that some industrially-caused conditions are progressive and insidious, with long latency periods before there is a date of injury, as defined in Labor Code §5412.

Such cases are not subject to the usual time limitations and allow the Board to reserve jurisdiction to modify the permanent disability award on a petition to reopen for new and further disability.

In the leading case of General Foundry Service v. WCAB (1986) 42 Cal.3d 331, the Supreme Court concluded "that the Board's reservation of jurisdiction on the issue of permanent disability in the case of insidious, progressive diseases serves to further the compensatory goals of the workers' compensation system."

Examples of progressive, insidious diseases are asbestosis, cancer, hepatitis C, and HIV.

See, too Occupational Disease and Cumulative Trauma

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Labor Code Labor Code §5412: "The date of injury in cases of occupational diseases or cumulative injuries is that date upon which the employee first suffered disability therefrom and either knew, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known, that such disability was caused by his present or prior employment." Labor Code §5412
 
 
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Cases The leading case is General Foundry Service v. WCAB (1986) 42 Cal.3d 331 General Foundry Service v. WCAB  
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