34:15-33.3 Application to uninsured employer's fund for certain claims for exposure to asbestos.
a. In the case of a claim for compensation for an occupational disease resulting in injury or death from an exposure to asbestos, if after due diligence, the standards for which shall be set forth by the Director of the Division of Workers' Compensation: (1) the workers' compensation insurer of an employer, the employer, or the principals of the employer where the claimant was last exposed cannot be located; or (2) the employee making the claim worked for more than one employer, during which time the exposure to asbestos may reasonably be deemed to have taken place but the employer or employers where the petition was last exposed cannot reasonably be identified, an application shall be made to the uninsured employer's fund, created pursuant to section 10 of P.L. 1966, c.126 (C.34:15-120.1), and any award by a judge of compensation shall be payable from the fund. For the purposes of this section "occupational disease resulting in injury or death from an exposure to asbestos" means asbestosis or any asbestos-induced cancer, including mesothelioma.
b. In the case of any claim paid by the uninsured employer's fund pursuant to this section, the fund shall have the right of subrogation against (1) any insurer or employer identified as liable as set forth under the provisions of subsection a. of this section; or (2) against the stock workers' compensation security fund, or the mutual workers' compensation security fund, if an insolvent insurer is determined to be liable; or (3) against the New Jersey Self-Insurers Guaranty Association if an insolvent self-insurer is determined to be liable.
c. The fund shall have a lien pursuant to R.S. 34:15-40 against any award received by the claimant from a third party resulting from the exposure to asbestos.
d. Compensation shall be based on the last date of exposure, if known, or if the last date of exposure cannot be known, the judge shall establish an appropriate date.
e. To ensure sufficient funding for the payment of claims under this section, the State Treasurer shall, within 30 days following the effective date of P.L. 2003, c.253 (C.34:15-33.3 et al.) and upon request of the Commissioner of Labor, transfer an amount not to exceed $500,000 from the Second Injury Fund to the uninsured employer's fund. At the end of the first calendar quarter immediately following that effective date and at the end of each calendar quarter thereafter, the State Treasurer shall, upon request of the Commissioner of Labor, transfer from the Second Injury Fund to the uninsured employer's fund an amount estimated by the Commissioner of Labor to be required by the uninsured employer's fund for payment of such claims for the next following calendar quarter. Amounts transferred from the Second Injury Fund under the provisions of this subsection shall be included in the determination of surcharges and assessments for the Second Injury Fund and shall be excluded from the determination of surcharges and assessments for the uninsured employer's fund.
f. The Commissioner of Labor shall, within 180 days following the effective date of P.L. 2003, c.253 (C.34:15-33.3 et al.), promulgate rules and regulations as necessary to effectuate the purposes of that act.