Indiana Firefighter Gives Impassioned Plea for Better Workers Comp Coverage
A firefighter from Evansville, Indiana spoke out on behalf of other first responders on Monday, January 27th, pleading for better workers comp coverage for those who put their lives on the line.
Shawn Oglesby spoke to the Evansville City Council, describing his on-the-job complication which should have been covered by workers comp. While responding to a fire, the veteran firefighter reportedly had a life-threatening allergic reaction to something in the building, and had to be taken to an area hospital for treatment. He spent 6 days in intensive care and racked up $10,000 in medical bills.
After he came home, he was told that he could file a workers comp claim while he recovered, to help pay for his medical bills and lost income. However, a third party administrator, under contract with the city, denied his workers comp claim.
“This is workman’s comp. There’s no doubt. I was on a fire truck. I was prepared to fight a fire if necessary, risk my life to save someone or their property when this happened to me,” said Oglesby.
Many of the council members showed overwhelming support for Oglesby, and were appalled that his workers comp claim was denied.
“If this claim was denied by a fire fighter who was definitely at work, was on a run, how is that any less of a workmans comp claim than, say, a guy who gets backed over by a dump truck,” asked Councilman Al Lindsey, D-Ward 6.
“I just don’t understand that. That does not make sense to me,” said Dr. H. Dan Adams, D-At Large.
Oglesby also described the cases of two other Evansville firefighters he knew, who were injured while on the job yet had their workers comp claims denied. One firefighter was bitten by a dog in a smoke-filled home while responding for a fire call. The other was working in a building that was on fire and the ceiling collapsed on top of him.
“My counsel informed me that by coming here tonight could damage my claim, but I feel strongly enough about what I’ve said here. It needed to be said, that I’m risking that so these public safety officers out here don’t have to go through what I’m going through. This is ridiculous,” Oglesby says.
The council promised to help with the workers comp issue. Councilwoman Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley, D-Ward 3, asked the city administrative services director to provide information about how many workers comp claims had been denied but then approved after litigation, in order to get a better idea of why such clear-cut workers comp cases were denied.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Workers Comp Claims in South Carolina
The workers comp lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC proudly seek justice on behalf of employees injured or killed on the job who work for private companies, as well as employees working for local county, city, and state government. We are licensed to practice throughout South Carolina, as well as Georgia and New York. If you are confused about worker’s comp laws, or have had your worker’s comp claim denied, contact us. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case.803.252.4800.