Pennsylvania Supreme Court makes landmark labor ruling on cancer claims

David Madden
October 18, 2018 - 12:23 pm
Pennsylvania Capitol
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Philadelphia firefighter who is seeking workers' compensation after getting cancer has received a bit of help from Pennsylvania’s highest court.

The case involving Scott Sladek dates back to 2012 and has made its way up the legal chain of appeal to the state Supreme Court. 

That panel has, in effect, put the burden on the Philadelphia Fire Department to prove that the cancer Sladek now suffers from is not work-related.

“What the Supreme Court did was provide a more fair and more direct way for firefighters to bring claims for cancer that will impact not just firefighters but I think workers making occupational disease claims all throughout Pennsylvania,” said Sladek’s attorney, Michael Dryden from the firm Willig, Williams & Davidson.

Sladek, a 24-year veteran of the department, has been treated for melanoma. The high court ruling settles the question of proving the claim, but his case now goes back to the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation board for further review.

The Supreme Court decision is available here.