Firefighters face a host of life-threatening hazards while they work to save the lives of others. One of these lifesavers in Ohio traveled around the country to create awareness about the cancer risks of firefighting. He also taught other firefighters how to avoid carcinogen exposure. He was instrumental in the passing of a law in Ohio that might ensure surviving family members of firefighters who succumb to cancer receive death benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance system.
The 36-year-old Ohio firefighter suffers melanoma, which has already progressed to stage four. The law that creates a presumption of causation became effective in April, and he filed a workers’ compensation claim in August. The city of Columbus initially rejected the benefits claim from the firefighter who wants to ensure proper care for his wife and their five children when he is no longer there to care of them.
However, the city has since announced that it has reconsidered the claim and decided to withdraw its objection. Reportedly, this followed the firefighter’s presentation of a report in which his physician confirms that the skin cancer he has is terminal and that occupational exposure to carcinogens caused it. The firefighter may now find comfort in knowing that his family will receive financial assistance when the disease ultimately causes his death.
Employees in any occupation in Ohio who are exposed to carcinogens may have to fight similar battles to ensure their loved ones will receive workers’ compensation death benefits when they succumb to cancer. Having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in their corners may be a valuable asset. A lawyer who is skilled in fighting for the rights of workers can assist with the claims process and any appeals that may follow denied claims.
Source: workcompcentral.com, “City Drops Denial of Cancer Claim by Firefighter Who Lobbied for Presumption Law“, Dec. 4, 2017