2016 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 52 - Workers' Compensation
Article 3 - Occupational Disease Disablement
Section 52-3-32.1 - Firefighter occupational disease.

NM Stat § 52-3-32.1 (2016) What's This?

52-3-32.1. Firefighter occupational disease.

A. As used in this section, "firefighter" means a person who is employed as a full-time non-volunteer firefighter by the state or a local government entity and who has taken the oath prescribed for firefighters.

B. If a firefighter is diagnosed with one or more of the following diseases after the period of employment indicated, which disease was not revealed during an initial employment medical screening examination or during a subsequent medical review pursuant to the Occupational Health and Safety Act [50-9-1 through 50-9-25 NMSA 1978] and rules promulgated pursuant to that act, the disease is presumed to be proximately caused by employment as a firefighter:

(1) brain cancer after ten years;

(2) bladder cancer after twelve years;

(3) kidney cancer after fifteen years;

(4) colorectal cancer after ten years;

(5) non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after fifteen years;

(6) leukemia after five years;

(7) ureter cancer after twelve years;

(8) testicular cancer after five years if diagnosed before the age of forty with no evidence of anabolic steroids or human growth hormone use;

(9) breast cancer after five years if diagnosed before the age of forty without a breast cancer 1 or breast cancer 2 genetic predisposition to breast cancer;

(10) esophageal cancer after ten years;

(11) multiple myeloma after fifteen years; and

(12) hepatitis, tuberculosis, diphtheria, meningococcal disease and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus appearing and diagnosed after entry into employment.

C. The presumptions created in Subsection B and D of this section may be rebutted by a preponderance of evidence in a court of competent jurisdiction showing that the firefighter engaged in conduct or activities outside of employment that posed a significant risk of contracting or developing a described disease.

D. If a firefighter is diagnosed with a heart injury or stroke suffered within twenty-four hours of fighting a fire, while responding to an alarm, while returning from an alarm call, while engaging in supervised physical training or while responding to or performing in a non-fire emergency, the heart injury or stroke is presumed to be proximately caused by employment as a firefighter. The presumption created in this subsection shall not be made if the firefighter's employer does not have a current physical training program and the firefighter does not have a current medical screening examination or review pursuant to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and rules promulgated pursuant to that act allowing participation in that program.

E. When any presumptions created in this section do not apply, it shall not preclude a firefighter from demonstrating a causal connection between employment and disease or injury by a preponderance of evidence in a court of competent jurisdiction.

F. Medical treatment based on the presumptions created in this section shall be provided by an employer as for a job-related illness or injury unless and until a court of competent jurisdiction determines that the presumption does not apply. If the court determines that the presumption does not apply or that the illness or injury is not job related, the employer s workers compensation insurance provider shall be reimbursed for health care costs by the medical or health insurance plan or benefit provided for the firefighter by the employer.

History: Laws 2009, ch. 252, 1.

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