Supreme Court comes to the rescue of our firefighters and shifts the burden to the insurance companies. I defend the rights of all of our first responders. -Don Kaufman (970) 947-1776 www.glenwoodattorney.com

Colorado Supreme Court: Workers’ Compensation “Firefighter’s Statute” Shifts Burden of Causation to Employer
Colorado Supreme Court: Workers’ Compensation “Firefighter’s Statute” Shifts Burden of Causation to Employer
May 6, 2016 By CBA-CLE Staff Leave a Comment

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in City of Littleton v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office on Monday, May 2, 2016.
Workers’ Compensation—Firefighters—Statutory Presumptions.
In this case, the Colorado Supreme Court addressed the presumption created in the “firefighter statute,” C.R.S. § 8-41-209, of the Workers’ Compensation Act of Colorado, C.R.S. §§ 8-40-101 to 8-47-209. The court held that the presumption in C.R.S. § 8-41-209(2)(a) relieves the claimant firefighter of the burden to prove that his cancer “result[ed] from his or her employment as a firefighter” for purposes of establishing under C.R.S. § 8-41-209(1) that his condition is a compensable “occupational disease” under the Workers’ Compensation Act. However, C.R.S. § 8-41-209(2) does not establish a conclusive, or irrebuttable, presumption. Instead, the firefighter statute shifts the burden of persuasion to the firefighter’s employer to show, by a preponderance of the medical evidence, that the firefighter’s condition “did not occur on the job.”
The court held that an employer can meet its burden by establishing the absence of either general or specific causation. Specifically, an employer can show, by a preponderance of the medical evidence, either: (1) that a firefighter’s known or typical occupational exposures are not capable of causing the cause of the claimant’s condition or type of cancer at issue; or (2) that the firefighter’s employment did not cause the firefighter’s particular cancer where, for example, the claimant firefighter was not exposed to the substance or substances that are known to cause the firefighter’s condition or impairment, or where the medical evidence renders it more probable that the cause of the claimant’s condition or impairment was not job-related.

We fight for our first responders!

-Don Kaufman

(970) 947-1776