JOSEPH CURRAN, Deceased JERI CURRAN, Spouse vs. CITY OF SACRAMENTO, Permissibly Self-Insured

is a case involving the City of Sacramento, Permissibly Self-Insured, and Joseph Curran, deceased, and his spouse Jeri Curran. Joseph Curran was a firefighter for the City of Sacramento and died from a heart attack. The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board denied the City of Sacramento's Petition for Reconsideration, finding that the Labor Code section 3212 "heart trouble" presumption applied in this case and that the presumption had not been rebutted. The Board found that the City of Sacramento had not shown that any contemporaneous nonwork-related event or events were the sole cause of the heart trouble.

CITY OF SACRAMENTO, Permissibly Self-Insured JOSEPH CURRAN, Deceased JERI CURRAN, Spouse WORKERS’ COMPENSATION APPEALS BOARDSTATE OF CALIFORNIAJOSEPH CURRAN, Deceased JERI CURRAN, Spouse, Applicant,vs.CITY OF SACRAMENTO, Permissibly Self-Insured, Defendants.Case No. ADJ7494670(Sacramento District Office)ORDER DENYING RECONSIDERATION            We have considered the allegations of the Petition for Reconsideration and the contents of the Report of the workers’ compensation administrative law judge (WCJ) with respect thereto. Based on our review of the record, and for the reasons stated in said report which we adopt and incorporate, we will deny reconsideration.            Defendant’s petition does not dispute that the Labor Code section 3212 “heart trouble” presumption applies in this case. The petition merely asserts that the presumption has been rebutted.            Section 3212 provides that if a member of a city fire department develops or manifests heart trouble during the employment or up to 60 months after the termination of the employment, this heart trouble “shall be presumed to arise out of and in the course of the employment.” Of course, “shall” is mandatory language. (Lab. Code, § 15.) This heart trouble presumption reflects a legislative determination that certain stressful public safety occupations are presumed to be a causative factor in heart disease. (Lewis v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (1976) 56 Cal.App.3d 938, 952 [41 Cal.Comp.Cases 194].)            Section 3212 does provide that the presumption of industrial causation “is disputable and may be controverted by other evidence.” However, under section 3212’s anti-attribution clause, heart trouble “shall in no case be attributed to any disease existing prior to [the above] development or manifestation.” , Therefore, the presumption is rebutted only if the defendant shows that “some contemporaneous nonwork-related event … was the sole cause of the heart [trouble].” (City & County of San Francisco

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