Kevin Leago, the trailblazing Houston firefighter with cancer who fought City Hall to provide workers compensation benefits for his illness — and won — died Thursday. He was 40.
Leago’s victory in court over city lawyers who argued his illness was unrelated to on-the-job carcinogen exposure set a precedent for dozens of current and retired Houston firefighters stricken with cancer, Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association President Marty Lancton said.
“Kevin’s legacy will go well beyond his excellent service as a firefighter,” Lancton said. “By working for insurance reform, Kevin and his family fought the good fight even while he was sick. He recently asked us to carry on the reform efforts so other firefighter families could avoid what he’s gone through.”
Fire Chief Sam Peña called Leago a “damn good man” and dedicated firefighter who led by example. He said the department would name an award in his honor.