Texas lawmakers are considering a bill that would create a rebuttable presumption that a deceased worker was intoxicated at the time of a fatal incident if an autopsy determines the presence of drugs or alcohol.
HB 4556, introduced Thursday, would assume that a drug or alcohol positive would mean the worker was “intoxicated and not in the normal use of mental or physical faculties,” and thus surviving family members would not be eligible for death benefits. Under current law, workers’ compensation claims filed by workers found to be intoxicated at the time of the accident are not compensable.
The proposed amendment addressing postmortem testing says the presumption can be rebutted “only by credible and objective evidence that the person was not intoxicated.”;
Lawmakers also introduced SB 2121, which would limit the civil liability of property owners of certain projects when a worker is injured working for an employer who chose not to carry workers’ comp insurance, which is allowed in Texas.