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Report shows wide spectrum of work comp claims in one California city

When it comes to workers' compensation claims involving local government employees, you would probably imagine a variety of work injuries that reflected the nature of the work being performed.

For example, you would probably envision a firefighter submitting a work comp claim for burns sustained in the line of duty, a police officer submitting a work comp claim for a knee injury suffered while chasing a suspect, or even a city hall employee submitting a work comp claim after falling off a ladder while putting away a file.

While this is certainly the case in the majority of situations, there are instances where local government employees submit work comp claims for work injuries that could best be described as "interesting."

To illustrate, a reporter with The Orange County Register recently submitted a Public Records Act request to the city of Costa Mesa, asking for a comprehensive list of all work comp claims submitted by city employees since January 1, 2001, and a list of work comp claims that were contested by the city's claims adjuster.

Some of the more interesting uncontested work comp claims include:

  • A recreation leader submitted a work comp claim after suffering a neck injury while playing basketball (cost: $7,325)
  • A maintenance worker submitted a work comp claim after suffering a knee injury caused by falling on wet grass while picking up trash (cost: $48,934)
  • A police officer submitted a work comp claim after developing acid reflux and digestive issues ($27,777)

Some of the more interesting contested work comp claims that the city of Costa Mesa still ended up paying include:

  • A firefighter submitted a work comp claim after his work boots caused a foot injury (cost: $39,590)
  • A firefighter submitted a work comp claim after suffering a rib cage injury while driving the fire truck. (Here, he indicated that he had to lean forward to view the side mirrors and that this awkward repetitive motion caused the injury) (cost $45,637)
  • A police officer submitted a work comp claim after suffering cancer and psychological trauma caused by exposure to certain bacteria/chemicals (cost $665,898)

Stay tuned for further developments in the area of workers' compensation defense law ...

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Related Resources:

The Orange County Register, "Fire, police rack up workers' comp" Sept. 19, 2011

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