June 4

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Jury Finds Kidney Cancer to be Occupational Hazard of Firefighting

By Mark Miller

June 4, 2020


On December 16, 2010, after a two-day trial, a Baltimore County jury returned a favorable verdict in deciding that the family of John McCruden, a Baltimore County Firefighter who died from kidney cancer, was entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Blondell & Associates represented the firefighter’s widow and his minor son in this case which overturned an earlier decision by the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission denying the family benefits. The Commission had ruled that the firefighter, who had developed kidney cancer and later died from it, had not sustained an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of his employment as a firefighter for more than thirty years with Baltimore County.

The jury, after hearing testimony about exposures on the job from the firefighter’s retired captain as well as from expert witnesses who testified about the research studies linking kidney cancer to firefighting, disagreed. They determined that the firefighter’s development of kidney cancer was due, at least in part, to his occupation. The firefighter’s family will now be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

The Maryland Legislature has identified by statute five cancers that are presumed to be related to the occupation of firefighting: Leukemia and pancreatic, prostate, rectal or throat cancer. Other cancers, such as kidney cancer, are not included in the statute and as a result, workers’ compensation claims brought for the other types of cancer are more complex and difficult to prove.

Although these types of cases can be difficult and are routinely fought by Baltimore County with great vigor, they can be won.

Blondell and Miller, LLC Attorneys at Law have a broader expertise in the handling of injury matters than any other claimant’s law firm in the state.

We expect to win for our clients and usually do.

We have made a new law in favor of injured people in many of our appeals to the Court of Appeals of Maryland..

Employers and insurers say we can’t; we do!

Let us fight for you!