In City of Las Vegas v. Evans, 129 Nev. Adv. Op. 31 (05/03/2013), the Nevada Supreme Court held that a firefighter who was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor had a compensable claim based upon an appeals officers’ ruling that expert physicians established a direct causal connection between the cancer and the firefighter’s exposure to carcinogens while fighting fires.
The firefighter had been employed only four years as a firefighter when he was diagnosed with the brain cancer. He therefore could not use the statutory qualified, rebuttable presumption in NRS 617.453 that his cancer arose out of the course and scope of his employment. That presumption applies only if the firefighter has five years of continuous, uninterrupted employment as a firefighter. However, the firefighter could still file a compensable claim under the general occupational disease statute, NRS 617.440, by providing expert testimony that his cancer resulted from cancer-causing carcinogens that are released in large amounts during fires, and that he fought over 100 fires during his four years as a firefighter.