Nearly two years to the day after an Oregon firefighter was diagnosed with testicular cancer the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) affirmed an Administrative Law Judge’s finding that the firefighter’s cancer was work–related. Attorney Nelson Hall of Bennett Hartman Morris & Kaplan represented the firefighter.
The firefighter filed a workers’ compensation claim with SAIF in 2010 alleging that his exposure to smoke and chemicals while fighting fires caused his condition. SAIF denied his claim, and the firefighter appealed. On appeal, the issue was whether SAIF had established by clear and convincing medical evidence that the testicular cancer was not caused or contributed to in material part by his work as a firefighter pursuant to ORS 656.802(5). This rule provides that certain identified cancers (including testicular cancer) are presumed to result from qualifying firefighter’s employment. The WCB review panel found that medical experts testifying on behalf of the firefighter persuasively rebutted SAIF’s opinions regarding the relationship between occupational exposures of firefighting and the development of testicular cancer.