Mandate Issued: 03/13/2019
PROCEEDING TO REVIEW AN ORDER OF THE WORKERS'
COMPENSATION COURT OF EXISTING CLAIMS HONORABLE MICHAEL W.
MCGIVERN, TRIAL JUDGE
P. Keele, Brandy L. Inman, LATHAM, WAGNER, STEELE &
LEHMAN, Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Petitioner
Jeffrey M. Cooper, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Gary Homsey,
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Respondent
The City of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (City), appeals an Order
of the Workers' Compensation Court of Existing Claims
awarding compensation and medical treatment to its employee,
Gary R. Snyder Jr. (Snyder).
Snyder is employed by City as a fireman. He contracted
thyroid cancer and claims that the cancer was caused by his
exposures to sundry cancer causing substances while fighting
fires and by diesel from fire vehicles.  His date of
awareness is March 8, 2010.
The trial court found that Snyder sustained a work-related
injury and awarded benefits. The question in this appeal is
whether that ruling is supported by competent evidence.
Snyder testified about his work as a fireman and exposures to
sundry substances. He did not relate any specific instances
of exposure, but spoke of how he was exposed as a matter of
course in the types of fires he engaged. He acknowledged that
he was provided and wore protective clothing and apparatuses
when engaging fires. He had a prior employment, but passed
the physical to become a fireman. He also had a second job
where he was exposed to hazardous materials.
The parties submitted medical reports. The trial court
appointed an independent medical examiner (IME).
Snyder's physician's report recited the work history
and the fact of thyroid cancer. The physician concluded that
the major cause of the thyroid cancer was the exposures to
sundry listed hazardous substances at work. Snyder also
presented study documents relating to firemen and exposures
to substances and cancer and outlining the types of
substances to which they are exposed. These documents do not
mention thyroid cancer and these exposures.
City's physician's report also recited the employment
history. This physician noted the statutory presumption and
However, the literature as it relates to thyroid cancers
would overcome this presumption. There is an extensive
report.... Under thyroid cancers are reviewed all the
studies related to thyroid cancer and firefighting.
According to this study, "There is clearly therefore
no consistent evidence to suggest any ...