Black Summer firefighter Robert Riordan launches legal action against CFA over cancer claim

A volunteer firefighter who battled the Black Summer bushfires has launched legal action against the Country Fire Authority after his cancer compensation claim was rejected.

Robert Riordan, 71, alleges he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia as a result of being exposed to cancer-causing chemicals at the CFA’s Fiskville training centre.

He claims that the CFA failed to protect him from exposure to carcinogens, substances that cause cancer, leaving him with impaired breathing and sleep, chronic pain, mental health issues and a dependency on medication.

His lawyer, Arnold Thomas and Becker’s Marita Snipe, said her client had suffered as a result of the CFA’s alleged negligence.

“His illness was diagnosed around the time of his retirement, which should have been a time to wind down and enjoy life, but instead he has been confronted with the impacts of his illness and treatment,” she said.

“He was still turning out during the Black Summer bushfires, battling his symptoms to do his part.

“It’s incredibly disheartening that the CFA has decided that his case is worth little compensation and that our client must now go through the ordeal of a trial to try and get just compensation”.

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