Notorious Pepper Spray Cop Files For Workers Compensation

pepper-sprayOccupy Protest Pepper Spraying Cop Files for Workers Compensation after Firing

The notorious former police officer who pepper-sprayed students during a 2011 Occupy protest at the University of Southern California, Davis is appealing for workers compensation. He claims that the 2011 incident caused him psychiatric injury.

John Pike has a settlement conference on August 13th in Sacramento regarding his workers compensation claim.

The now former police officer was fired in July 2012, 8 months after the pepper spray incident occurred, and a task force investigation revealed that his actions were unwarranted.

Videos of Pike and another officer casually pepper spraying students, who calmly sat in protest, went viral online. The videos sparked outrage not only in UC Davis leaders, but across the internet and throughout the Occupy movement. Pike’s image became a meme, and his personal information was leaked by hackers. He received so many death threats after his information was publically posted that a judge in Alameda County Court ruled against releasing the names of other police officers involved in the scene.

In the aftermath of the pepper spray incident, the University of California agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the demonstrators.

Work-related Stress and Workers Compensation

When most people think of workers compensation, they think of financial support for a worker who sustained a physical injury. Miners, cleaners, and builders often file for workers compensation for on-the-job physical injury.

However, mental and emotional stress can also be cause to file a workers compensation claim. Mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety can be triggered by severe trauma at work, such as violent assault or armed robbery. Post-traumatic stress disorder can be so disabling that a worker may not be able to return to work for several months.

Generally, if the employee’s need for medical or psychological treatment falls within the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation laws, the workers’ compensation insurer will have to pay for medical treatment, expenses and lost wages. Medical benefits include all standard medical care, including psychological or psychiatric treatment. If you witnessed a traumatic event at work, you might have post-traumatic stress disorder and should receive benefits as a result.

Any full-time employee (working for an employer with four or more employees) who has an employment related injury and needs medical attention should be covered under workers’ compensation insurance. It doesn’t matter if the injury was a complete accident or the fault of a co-worker.

The employee MUST notify his or her employer within 90 days of the injury or risk losing the right to benefits under workers compensation. (It is recommended that you record details of your accident and to whom you reported it.)

Workers’ compensation insurance benefits to assist the injured employee include:

  • Medical treatment and other medical expenses (gas mileage, public transportation costs)
  • Lost wages: 2/3 of an employee’s wages will be paid out after a seven-day waiting period
  • Compensation for a permanent loss: blindness, loss of limb
  • Death benefits to spouse and dependents

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Workers Compensation Claims for Mental or Emotional Stress

The workers compensation 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. Receiving benefits for work related stress can be difficult.  You need an attorney who will fight with you to the end.  Give us a call today 803.252.4800 for a free workers comp case review.