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High court OKs heart disease presumption claim despite history

Posted On: Apr. 25, 2023 8:44 AM CST

Nevada SC

The Nevada Supreme Court ruled a city attempting to bar a police officer from relying on a presumption that his heart disease arose out of employment must show the officer failed to address correctable predisposing conditions.

Robert Holland served as a police officer for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for 25 years before retiring in 2012. During annual physical exams, he was notified that he had high triglycerides, a predisposing condition for heart disease and was informed about corrective actions to take, according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department v. Holland, published Thursday.

In 2015, Mr. Holland was diagnosed with high blood pressure and started taking medication for the condition. He later suffered two heart attacks.

The department denied Mr. Holland’s workers compensation claim, contending he had earlier failed to correct his predisposing condition of high triglycerides. A hearing officer affirmed the denial, but a district court judge reversed.

The Nevada Supreme Court affirmed, explaining that a police officer who has served for two years before contracting a disabling heart disease is entitled to a statutory presumption of industrial causation for his condition.

The court noted the record did not include any testimony whether correcting the predisposing condition was within Mr. Holland's ability, nor was there evidence to support the argument that he failed to take corrective action.

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