49°F
weather icon Clear

Ex-Henderson police officer seeks compensation for hearing loss

The Nevada Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday in a workers’ compensation claim made by a Henderson police officer who said he suffered hearing loss on the job.

Jared Spangler worked as a Henderson police officer for more than a decade and claims he suffered hearing loss from sirens, gunshots and his radio earpiece. He wore hearing aids to court on Tuesday.

His attorney, Lisa Anderson, said during Tuesday’s arguments that Spangler filed a workers’ compensation claim in 2006 that was denied after doctors said his hearing loss was not caused or aggravated by his work.

Spangler filed a second claim 10 years later after his hearing loss worsened, Anderson said, at which time an audiologist said repeated exposure to loud noises at work had caused the damage to his ears.

“This is not your typical repetitive injury, but it is something that he is occasionally incurring as he’s doing his job,” Anderson said. “It’s a big thing. It’s not just something that creeps up on him.”

His claim was denied again, but Spangler chose to appeal the decision. Clark County District Judge Richard Scotti determined that Spangler’s hearing loss was caused by “a series of discrete accidents” that compounded over time.

After a petition from the city of Henderson, the case ended up with the Court of Appeals.

Attorney Daniel Schwartz, representing the city of Henderson, said Spangler did not produce sufficient evidence to show that the hearing loss was caused by a series of accidents because the law would require him to submit a workers’ compensation claim for each one.

“Hearing loss tests over the years showing that his hearing loss did, in fact, get progressively worse — that’s in the record,” Schwartz said. “But there’s nothing in the record that indicates that these discrete events happened as Judge Scotti indicated.”

Schwartz also argued that each individual incident did not fall under the legal definition of a work accident because he did not immediately seek medical treatment every time he heard a loud noise at work. But Anderson said Spangler’s hearing loss falls under the definition of an “occupational disease” under Nevada law.

“So, if medical treatment is not sought for these various incidents, then they are just consequences of the employment,” she said. “They are part of that daily impact that is happening to the officer as he’s working.”

While state law includes language allowing police officers and firefighters to submit claims for illnesses like lung disease and post-traumatic stress disorder as a “compensable occupational disease” without extensive documentation, hearing loss is not specifically covered.

The case was argued Tuesday in front of law students and faculty in the Thomas & Mack Moot Courtroom at UNLV’s Boyd Law School.

The court also heard an appeal in the case of Brandon Hanson, who was convicted of first-degree murder in 2018 for stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death. Hanson’s defense appealed to have the first-degree charge reduced to second-degree murder.

Nevada Court of Appeals Judges Michael Gibbons, Bonnie Bulla and Jerry Tao will announce their decision on both cases in the coming weeks.

Contact Max Michor at mmichor@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0365. Follow @MaxMichor on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Local Videos
New Real ID requirements
What you need to know about the Real ID's and why it may be important for you to have one if you don't have a passport.
Major US 95 road project in downtown Las Vegas could cost $1B - VIDEO
The Nevada Department of Transportation wants to reconfigure a 4-mile portion of U.S. 95 between Rancho Drive and Mojave Road at an estimated cost of $1 billion. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Double amputee veteran climbs stairs at Strat
Travis Strong, who lost both of his legs by a bomb in Baghdad in 2006, climbed 108 levels and 1,455 stairs at the Strat. The event brought 1,000 climbers out to raise money for the American Lung Association in Nevada.
Why does the vote count take so long?
RJ political reporter Rory Appleton discusses the vote counting process and why it takes so long.
Doolittle Community Center hosts caucuses - VIDEO
The Doolittle Community Center hosted six precincts in one room for the Nevada Democratic caucuses, and voters engaged in debate and discussion about who to lead each precinct, Feb. 22, 2020. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caucus day in Summerlin - VIDEO
Out-of-state caucus observer Ken Valz speaks about the Nevada Democratic caucuses at Palo Verde High School, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caucus day at East Last Vegas Community Center - VIDEO
Registration begins at the East Las Vegas Community Center for the Nevada Democratic caucuses, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Democratic caucus-goers lined up to register at Liberty High - VIDEO
Democratic caucus-goers lined up to register at Liberty High in Henderson, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Thousands gather for Trump rally
Thousands showed up for President Donald Trump’s rally Friday morning, forming a line that stretched nearly a quarter mile around the Las Vegas Convention Center.
President Trump speaks to the graduates of the Hope for Prisoners program in Las Vegas - VIDEO
President Donald Trump, along with the founder/CEO of Hope for Prisoners, John Ponder, and Las Vegas Metro Police Department officials, spoke to the graduates of the program, encouraging them to get back into society to be successful, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (James Schaeffer and Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Presidential candidates go after Michael Bloomberg
Tonight’s 2020 Democratic Debate was a full-blown attack on former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Candidates attacked his past policies, his record with stop and frisk and his billionaire status garnishing him a spot on the presidential trail, all while defending their own policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pigeons wearing MAGA hats in Las Vegas - VIDEO
A flock of pigeons wearing Make America Great Again hats and one sporting a Donald Trump hairdo invaded downtown Las Vegas late Tuesday, following their release by an anonymous group: P.U.T.I.N. (Pigeons, United to Interfere Now). (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tuesday is last day to early vote in Nevada Democratic caucuses - VIDEO
Early voting in the Nevada Democratic caucuses ends Tuesday, with sites open throughout Clark County. (Michael Quine and James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Senator Amy Klobuchar Interview with RJ Editorial Board
Sen. Klobuchar speaks with the Las Vegas Review Journal Editorial Board regarding key points to her campaign strategies for Nevada and for the country.
North Las Vegas school holds vigil for 2 children hit by pickup - VIDEO
Dozens of parents and students took part in a candlelight vigil at a North Las Vegas school Saturday night on behalf of two young students struck by a truck at a nearby crosswalk. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Two years until “I Do” - VIDEOY
Las Vegas locals Sam Cruz and Jeff Gaglione discuss their engagement, in their future wedding venue at Emerald at Queensridge in Las Vegas, on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (Elizabeth Page Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @elipagephoto
Visible progress on Henderson community ice arena
Construction crews are making visible progress on a Vegas Golden Knights community ice arena in downtown Henderson.
Video shows man stealing money gifts from Las Vegas wedding - VIDEO
A man sneaked into a wedding Saturday in the western Las Vegas Valley and stole most of the monetary gifts, according to the groom’s sister. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fire closes Nellis Boulevard in northeast Las Vegas - VIDEO
Authorities said a vacant mobile home caught fire Tuesday afternoon and spread to adjectment mobile homes, according to a news release from the Clark County Fire Department. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Alpine Motel Apartment residents want belongings left behind in fire
District Judge Rob Bare began hearing arguments Tuesday afternoon to decide if former residents of the Alpine Motel Apartments can finally collect the belongings they were forced to abandon as they escaped a deadly December fire.
Missing hiker's sister on staying hopeful - Video
Karsta Lucas, the sister of Ronnie Lucas, a hiker missing at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, said Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, that family members remain hopeful the 33-year-old diabetic will be found safe despite spending two nights in the open without his insulin. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Search continues for missing hiker at Red Rock Canyon - Video
Volunteers come out to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area west of Las Vegas to help find a hiker, Ronnie Lucas, who went missing on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas High School Alumni Association helps historic school - VIDEO
Rollie Gibbs, a 1954 graduate and president of the Las Vegas High School Alumni Association, talks about the school's history and his group's donation to help preserve what is now called Las Vegas Academy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Search for missing hiker at Red Rock Canyon - Video
Red Rock Search & Rescue is looked for the missing hiker at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area on Monday, Feb. 10, 2010. The man was reported missing on Sunday. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CITYPAK distributes backpacks to homeless people in Las Vegas - VIDEO
The CITYPAK Project held a backpack distribution event at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fire injures one at Bridger Inn Hotel in downtown Las Vegas - VIDEO
Anna Ramirez, a resident the Bridger Inn Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, tells her experience of getting out of the building during a fire early Friday morning, Feb. 7, 2020. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County Fire Department change of command ceremony - VIDEO
Outgoing Clark County Fire Department Chief Greg Cassell turns over command of the department to incoming Chief John Steinbeck during a ceremony at the Clark County Government Center in Las Vegas Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
South Korea flight lands in Las Vegas after first diverted to L.A. - VIDEO
Three passengers aboard a Las Vegas-bound flight from Seoul were screened in Los Angeles after customs officials flagged them for traveling through China recently amid a global reaction to the coronavirus. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police briefing about Excalibur fire
Las Vegas police say a sexual assault and hotel fire Wednesday morning at the Excalibur are connected. (Alexis Egeland/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Coronavirus medical supplies sent to China from Las Vegas law office
Legal assistant Michelle Zhang, who has family in China working in hospitals affected by the coronavirus, talks about responding to requests for medical supplies during an interview at the law offices of Eric K. Chen in Las Vegas Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas Fire spokesman brief media on apartment fire
Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Spokesman Tim Szymanski updates news media about apartment fire. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Teens burglarize Summerlin home
Dr. Paul Wilkes’ Summerlin home was robbed while his realtor gave a group a tour during an open house on Sunday. The crime was captured on his home surveillance system.
Fire at Las Vegas Apartment
A fire caused heavy damage to an apartment building in the west Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday afternoon, officials said. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas ready to enforce homeless camping ban - VIDEO
Las Vegas police will begin enforcing a controversial camping ban on city streets on Saturday, but officials say they expect to impose the penalties available under the new ordinance only in rare instances. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Officials celebrate opening of Las Vegas park named for slain officer - Video
Top public officials came together Friday morning to celebrate the grand opening of Officer Alyn Beck Memorial Park in the northwest valley, named after a police officer killed in the line of duty in 2014. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wrong-way driver causes fatal crash near Las Vegas airport, authorities say - VIDEO
A suspected impaired motorist driving the wrong way on the Airport Connector caused a crash that killed another driver near McCarran International Airport early Friday morning, Jan. 17, 2020, according to law enforcement. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The car that Tupac was shot in is for sale - VIDEO
The vehicle that legendary rapper Tupac Shakur was riding in when he was shot after a boxing match in Las Vegas is up for auction. The black 1996 BMW 7 Series is listed by Celebrity Cars Las Vegas for $1.75 million. (Angus Kelly/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Hearts for young at heart in Henderson — PHOTOS

About 10 preschoolers, toddlers and their moms celebrated Valentine’s Day with the senior residents at the memory care community Poet’s Walk in Henderson on Thursday.