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NM FF with breast cancer denied workers’ compensation due to age

Albuquerque Firefighter Laurianna Sargent discovered she is not covered under the state’s presumptive cause bill because she was diagnosed after age 40

By Laura French

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico firefighter who was diagnosed with breast cancer discovered she is not eligible for workers’ compensation under the state’s new presumptive cause bill.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue Firefighter Laurianna Sargent, who has worked in the fire service for more than 20 years, said the bill excludes those who are diagnosed with breast cancer after age 40, according to KRQE.

Sargent said she believed she would be covered because the bill states that cancer in firefighters can be presumed to be work-related but did not know that age stipulations were placed on specific cancers. She noted that most women do not receive mammograms until they are 40.

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Sargent during her treatment. Sargent says she and her colleagues at Albuquerque Fire Rescue plan to work with lawmakers in the future to adjust the bill.