Alabama Lawsuit Has North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Policy Analysts Talking

October 19, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A heartbreaking case out of Montgomery, Alabama has much of the nation, including many top North Carolina workers’ compensation policy analysts, debating the effects and legality of a suit filed by the family of Corporal David Brown, a police officer who got hurt while off duty.

Corporal Brown had been escorting a funeral procession on September 11th, when he got injured. The ambulance that took him away flipped over while carrying to the hospital, injuring Brown further. As of this writing, Brown remains seriously injured. The Corporal had been working for a private funeral home and had been technically off duty (September 11th this year was fell a Saturday). But Brown’s family wants the city to declare that the Corporal was actually “on duty” so he can collect workers comp.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange has indicated that the city can’t grant the workers’ comp benefits because state law does not allow it. That said, Mayor Strange indicated that the city would do everything it could to help Brown and his family. Brown reportedly will get retirement benefits for life as well as medical disability retirement benefits and extra leave time. In the Montgomery Advertiser, Mayor Strange said, “we want to do everything conceivable under the law to help him.”

On October 27th, the Brown family filed suit against Montgomery, arguing that the corporal had been working “with permission, knowledge, and approval” of the city’s police department and had been working to help the citizenry of Montgomery while directing traffic for the funeral procession.


This case illustrates nicely how complicated certain North Carolina workers’ compensation cases can become – even when employers (or in this case the Mayor of the City of Montgomery) want to cooperate and provide maximal allowable assistance under the law. In other cases, employers and insurance companies may resist obligations to pay an injured worker and may even skirt the law to get out of paying monies owed.

If you or someone in your family has gotten hurt or ill at a job in the state, a North Carolina workers’ compensation law firm can provide a free and confidential consultation about how you can go about collecting benefits in a fair and timely way. A good team of attorneys can also help you battle back against a bad faith insurer and uncooperative employer.

More Web Resources

Corporal Brown lawsuit

Mayor Strange vs. Brown family

 
 

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