ALA CODE § 11-43-144 : Alabama Code - Section 11-43-144: COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIRE FIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

Search ALA CODE § 11-43-144 : Alabama Code - Section 11-43-144: COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIRE FIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

(a) As used in this section the following words and terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them herein unless a contrary meaning is indicated by the context:

(1) CITY. Any municipality of the state, regardless of its population.

(2) FIRE FIGHTER. A person employed as a fire fighter by a city.

(3) FIRE FIGHTER'S OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE. Any condition or impairment of health caused by any of the following:

a. Hypertension.

b. Heart disease.

c. Respiratory disease.

d. Cancer which manifests itself in a fire fighter during the period in which the fire fighter is in the service of the city, provided the fire fighter demonstrates that he or she was exposed, while in the employ of the city, to a known carcinogen which is reasonably linked to the disabling cancer, and the cancer shall be presumed to arise out of and in the course of the fire fighter's employment unless the city demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that the cancer was caused by some other means.

e. AIDS which manifests itself in a fire fighter during the period in which the fire fighter is in the service of the city, provided the fire fighter demonstrates that he or she was exposed to AIDS while in the line and scope of his or her employment with the city.

f. Hepatitis which manifests itself in a fire fighter during the period in which the fire fighter is in the service of the city, provided the fire fighter demonstrates that he or she was exposed to hepatitis while in the line and scope of his or her employment with the city.

(4) DISABILITY. Disability to perform duties as a fire fighter.

(5) BENEFIT. Any monetary allowance payable by a city or from a pension system established for the firemen of a city to a fire fighter on account of his or her disability or to his or her dependents on account of his or her death, irrespective of whether the same is payable under a pension law of the state or under some other law of the state.

(b) This section shall apply to fire fighters who, upon entering the service of the city as fire fighters, have successfully passed a physical examination which failed to reveal any evidence of a fire fighter's occupational disease and who have completed at least three years' service as fire fighters.

If a physical examination was not required at the time of entry into service, a fire fighter who has completed at least three years' continuous service as a fire fighter next preceding September 8, 1967, shall be deemed eligible for benefits under this section.

(c) If a fire fighter who qualifies for benefits under this section suffers disability as a result of a fire fighter's occupational disease his or her disability shall be compensable the same as any service-connected disability under any law which provides benefits for fire fighters of the city injured in the line of duty. If a fire fighter who qualifies for benefits under this section dies as the result of a fire fighter's occupational disease, his or her death shall be compensable to the same extent as the death of a fire fighter killed in the line of duty, and shall be considered to have been killed in the line of duty for purposes of Sections 36-30-1 to 36-30-7, inclusive.

(d) In the case of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, and respiratory disease, the municipality must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the condition was caused by some means other than the occupation to disqualify the fire fighter from benefits.

(Acts 1967, No. 570, p. 1323; Acts 1990, No. 90-303, p. 414; Acts 1994, No. 94-250, p. 465, §1; Acts 1995, No. 95-547, p. 1148, §1; Act 2004-640, §1.)